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Dawsonville, Georgia Done Gives Up on Fighting Stereotypes

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By HVculture on November 18, 2012

For all you judgmental elitist yankees, the good people of Dawsonville, Georgia, would like you to know that not all Southerners are Moonshine-distilling, NASCAR-loving yokels. Well, except of course for the fact that its CITY HALL now triples as the Georgia Racing Hall of Fame and the government-sanctioned Dawsonville Moonshine Distillery.

AP Photo/David Goldman

Busting up that awesome trifecta is the fact that, hey, at least Deliverance wasn’t filmed *that* close to Dawsonville — it’s a healthy 60 miles away.

The distillery makes sense at City Hall — just a few weeks ago, Dawsonville hosted its 45th Annual Mountain Moonshine Festival, which “explores Dawson County’s history during the prohibition era when liquor was illegal and the Great Depression of the 1930’s when running moonshine through the foothills of the Northeast Georgia Mountains was a way of life.” The event does great work for the local Kare For Kids charity.

This Athens Banner-Herald article about the Dawsonville Moonshine Distillery is an absolutely fascinating read:

A handful of moonshine distilleries are scattered around the South, but observers say this is the first they’ve ever seen right in a city hall. The distilleries come amid an increased interest in the U.S. for locally made specialty spirits and beer brewed in homes and micro-breweries.

The Dawsonville moonshine makers and city officials say the operation helps them preserve a way of life. It also carries on traditions from an era when moonshine meant extra income for farmers, medicine for their children and helped fuel the beginnings of NASCAR racing.

The distillery has reached several key milestones this year.

Last week, the distillery was delivering the second batch of moonshine it’s made to its distributor, which has orders from liquor stores and other businesses around the state. Georgia law prohibits the distillery from selling its liquor at the site, but allows a distributor to ship it to stores with a liquor license, where it can be sold legally.

Wood recently got approval from state officials to offer small samples for tourists to taste.

Interestingly enough, Dawsonville isn’t some backwoods city. Just 60 miles from Atlanta, the Clint Eastwood-Amy Adams-Justin Timberlake vehicle, Trouble With the Curve, was filmed there. Just 7 miles southeast of the City Hall sits the North Georgia Premium Outlets, where Dawsonville residents can pick up fine Saks Fifth Avenue and Kate Spade products (or mock them as yankee trash). And it’s home to this racing legend:

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