For many generations of Appalachia folk, distilling corn into liquor has been more than a source of income. It has become the thread that links a family together.
Dating back more than 100 years, the Call family has a seven-generation commitment to moonshine. In the 19th century, Lutheran minister Dan Call taught Jack Daniels the art of distillation until his congregation delivered an ultimatum-quit making whiskey or quit preaching. But the family stayed involved through prohibition and after, despite run-ins with the law and occasional jail time.
Evading taxes is why many “moonshiners” had to avoid the “revenuers”, a nickname for law enforcement. Clay Call was never caught by the law and developed a legendary reputation as the “Uncatchable”. He taught his son Brian how to distill moonshine, and today Brian Call runs Call Family Distillers, one of North Carolina’s most prominent moonshine distilleries. Moonshine is what brings this family together.
By Adrien Clark