Mountains, Mystery, and MOONSHINE! Why Franklin County Distilleries is a must-stop at Virginia's Blue Ridge

One of my favorite things about traveling to local food and drink destinations, are the stories behind the businesses. Hearing how they got started, why they’re passionate about it, and the history of the region is fascinating to me. The combination of Franklin County’s epic backstory, and the history of Moonshine is so good, they even made the movie “Lawless” about it!


Visiting Franklin County Distilleries was unlike any other drink tasting destination. It’s a mix of stepping back in time and stepping into a cozy home you never knew you wanted. Distiller Andy Lumsden, told us all about growing up in the “moonshine capitol of the world” and how as recently as 2001, with Operation Lightning Strike, it’s been a complicated matter in these parts. He described how living here, it was just what you did. The fact was making whiskey from corn, made the local people 10 times more than what selling the corn would have. But as the laws have changed back and forth over the years, it’s great to turn a new leaf (or shall we say stalk) on this taboo matter.

Franklin County Distilleries became the first legally licensed distillery in the county since prohibition. They offer flights of moonshine, which can really be many types of liquor. The name refers to the creation of alcohol by the “moon shine” at night during illegal times. They also offer liquor infusions, “jolly shots” which truly do taste like Jolly Ranchers, and the most incredible cocktails you’ll find anywhere! They have a little something for everyone. And for someone who typically doesn’t drink liquor, I came home with TWO bottles, their vodka was that good!

But the true appeal to Franklin County Distilleries comes from the people that work here and the stories they openly share about this business. Combine that with the wood, brick, rocking chairs, and southern decor and this is the ultimate place to kick back, relax, and grab a drink! When you come to Virginia’s Blue Ridge, it’s a stop you don’t want to miss!