Broadslab & Moonshine History

Published by Broadslab Distillery

There are many speculations as to how the flat, pine-forested region of southeastern Johnston County, North Carolina, known as "Broadslab," got its name. Some say it was the flat terrain of the area southeast of Benson, supposedly formed by a glancing meteorite strike eons ago. Others argue it was because of a broad road leading toward the coast that was constructed from pine slabs laid on the soggy flat land to keep wagons from miring down. But, no one argues about how the area got its reputation as the "Moonshine Capital" of North Carolina.

Since before the days of prohibition the "Broadslab" region has been known for the quality and quantity of home-brewed whiskey. produced by local entrepreneurs who sought to maximize the yields from their farm crops by converting grain into a more "liquid" commodity - white whiskey.

The dawning of prohibition, and the federal regulations and controls that followed, made the independent production of whiskey an illegal activity. However, out of economic necessity and constant demand, the craft continued – in stealth, mostly under the cloak of darkness, in ever changing isolated backwoods locations. In fact, the product of these illegal stills became known as "Moonshine," due to the operators making their distilling runs on moonlit nights, to avoid use of lights which were easily detected by revenue officers. The pursuits of these entrepreneurs and those who have pursued them, have created a long-standing and very colorful history, and a reputation which has gained notoriety across the country. Few if any, who have followed the craft and the lore of American Moonshining have not shared or heard tales of the exploits, perseverance, and quality of product that built the Broadslab legacy.

Today Broadslab Distillery and the Broadslab Legacy line of products have captured, not only the true heritage of the region's famed moonshine, but has also preserved the craft, skills, and techniques of over five generations of my family on both sides. Tracing my family lines back as far as verbal history can be followed, the knowledge that I have gained to craft this product is rooted in my Great-Great Grandfathers on both sides of my family, and passed through their descendants.

One of my Great-Great Grandfathers, William "Bill" McLamb, as he was known, was converting corn and barley into highly desirable, smooth, sipping whiskey long before prohibition created an even wider demand for it. Following prohibition and government control, Bill was active in the dawn of the Moonshine trade, which gained and maintained a strong foot hold in this region.

Most of my own personal knowledge of the art of whiskey distilling came first-hand from my Grandfather, Leonard A. Wood. He was my mentor and personal advisor during the development of Broadslab Distillery. He lived to see the still complete and working, but sadly passed away September 1, 2012. Broadslab Distillery, LLC, is located in the footprint of many of the stills that he built - stills which helped build the Broadslab Legacy - on our family farm outside Benson, NC.