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American History is an interesting, sometimes sordid tale, that relies on bloodshed, crime and sometimes illegal activities. That, while seemingly cold and callous is what the United States was built on; of course not exclusively, but it played a part. "Moonshiners", a show featured on the Discovery Channel, is a reality show the delves into the world of moonshine production.

Moonshine, for those not in the know, is a type of alcohol that is made and sold without the legal licenses and authority. It is often created deep in the woods of the deep south. Moonshine is differentiated from other liquors by its distinct taste, high alcohol content. Moonshine is generally 180 proof to 190 proof.

The show is currently in its second season. The first season and introductory episodes used footage from a 2002 documentary that took a look at modern-day bootlegging. The Documentary was aired on PBS and Discovery legally bought the rights to use it. The documentary took a look at illegal bootlegging operations and the reason people continue to produce such liquor regardless of the legal issues. The documentary featured a bootlegger who was arrested in 2009 for illegally distilling alcohol. He was sentenced to 18 months in jail and later committed suicide.

The bootleggers shown in the show are believed to be "recreating" what one would do if they were bootlegging. The government of Virginia, were much of the show is being filmed, has stated publicly that if any illegal activity was actually taking place that arrests would be made. It would appear as though the Discovery Channel has recreated, for the public, the deep underbelly of a society that simply does not want to the world to know they exist.

Regardless, "Moonshiners", is an interesting, captivating and thrilling look into one of the businesses that has quietly existed under the radar for decades and the culture that surrounds it. Moonshining, for some, isn't just a business or activity; it is a passed down tradition and a way of life.

Wednesday 10:00 PM et/pt on Discovery Channel
5 Seasons, 74 Episodes - Currently Airing
December 6, 2011
Crime, Drama, Reality
3.9/5
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Moonshiners Full Episode Guide

  • Josh is determined to improve his dirt track skills with the help of a speedway pro. Tyler searches for the perfect bootlegging car. Mark & Huck take their haul off-road to deliver across state lines. Mark & Digger aim to revive a heritage car.

  • Tim prepares to deliver the order of a lifetime; Mark and Digger are caught off guard during a shine sale; Josh works on one last score.

  • Patti and David scramble to sell off their stash before a local fracking operation ruins their season. Jeff, Mark and Lance hope that a classic recipe will save their season. A calling card from the law may bring Mark & Digger's season to an end.

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