Real moonshine? Beekeeping meaderies? 11 most interesting WV spirits & brews.

West Virginia has a long history of making moonshine in the hills. Several distilleries, wineries, meaderies and breweries are still crafting a variety of flavorful sips.

Spirits used to be made from field corn and creek water, and the shine was commonly known as “white lightning” as much for its effect on people as its likelihood to blow up while being made. Today master brewers and vintners are using state honey and grapes, and modern brewing practices to create craft drinks unique to West Virginia.

Here are just a few of our favorites:

1. Heston Farm

Fairmont’s Heston Farm and Pinchgut Hollow Distillery makes wines and traditional buckwheat whiskey, some in moonshiner style. The family farm has been passed down from generations of moonshiners. They have a restaurant and offer tours of the winery and distillery as well as fun activities and special events.

2. Bloomery Sweet Shine

This artisanal distillery makes tasty and fun-flavored moonshine and cordials like and “Cremma Lemma moonshine milkshake” and “Limoncello,” made from fruits they grow on their own farm. Use them for cocktails or with sodas as a syrup.

3. Hatfield McCoy Moonshine

This “Drink of the Devil,” made from the original recipe of Devil Anse Hatfield, is an old-time white corn whiskey. It’s handmade in small batches at the micro distillery in Gilbert.

4. Lambert’s Vintage Winery

The wines from Lambert’s Winery are as unique as the winery itself. The winery is made from hand-cut West Virginia Stone, and sits on a hilltop in Weston, surrounded by grapevines. The owners offers tours and tastings, and host special events.

5. Mountain Dragon Mazery

The Mountain Dragon Mazery apiary and small-batch meadery in Fairmont specializes in honey wines and meads made with fruit, honey, herbs and spices in traditional glassware. They use pure West Virginia honey in all of their wines, some of which they gather from their own bees.

6. Vu ja De Winery

Located in the rolling hills of Spencer, this sustainable winery makes small-batch boutique wines using organic farming practices in their vineyard.

7. Smooth Ambler

This grain-to-glass craft distillery is bringing spirits alive with West Virginia mountain water. The distillery is located in Greenbrier County and offers tours and tastings of their high-quality bourbon, gin and vodka.

8. Bridge Brew Works

This 2-brewmaster brewery in Fayetteville has been making award-winning craft beer for 6 years. They specialize in high-end craft beers and offer seasonal brews as well as special edition brews.

9. Mountain State Brewing Co.

Mountain State Brewing Co. is based in the tiny town of Thomas, and has since become the state’s largest, expanding to reach its fans in Morgantown and even into Maryland. They’re behind the annual Brew Skies Festival, which brings together state brewers for a family-friendly mountaintop music and beer festival.

10. Morgantown Brewing Co, the state’s oldest brewery, “revived”

West Virginia’s oldest brewery makes award-winning beer, which they also make use of on their menu. Try their twist on the traditional West Virginia pepperoni roll: a beer-infused soft-pretzel bun. They have 8 flagship brews, and rotate seasonal beers.

11. North End Tavern in Parkersburg

Affectionately known as “The NET” by locals, this brew pub’s Roedy’s Red amber ale has its own fan following in addition to critical acclaim. The NET uses West Virginia spring water and all-natural ingredients in every batch.

What will you fill your glass with in West Virginia?

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