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Moonshine operation ready to go legit in Yemassee

emoody@beaufortgazette.comJanuary 31, 2014 

moonshine

Lucky Duck Distillery owner Chase Flowers in the distilling room where he will make bourbon and moonshine in Yemassee.

ERIN MOODY — Staff photo Buy Photo

  • VIDEO: Moonshine maker in Yemassee (1:20)

    Chase Flowers, proprietor of Lucky Duck Distillery in Yemassee S.C., explains how his distillery converts mash, a mixture of corn, yeast, sugar and water, to alcohol. Erin Moody

Some family traditions transcend generations -- and laws.

But unlike his grandparents, who didn't have the option, Chase Flowers plans to make and sell his moonshine and bourbon legally.

With a tongue-in-cheek nod to illegal operations, the Lucky Duck Distillery owner plans to celebrate his opening in Yemassee with a collectors-edition run of 100 bottles, with a label that reads something along the lines of, "I don't have to make it in the woods."

Lucky Duck, at 17 A Yemassee Highway, is ready to start producing and selling liquor upon completion of the permits and paperwork that make Flower's operation legal. He's hoping to be running within a few weeks, and a grand opening is set for May 3.

It's one of only a handful of micro-distilleries in South Carolina, and Flowers, 22, believes he might be one of the youngest micro-distillery operators in the country.

Flowers' grandparents made moonshine decades ago, and Grandpa's handmade copper still and rusted Texaco can condenser are on display in the glass-enclosed distilling room where Flowers will work.

The building itself has been handed down through the generations, and Flowers' grandfather ran a plumbing business from it, with the still in the back, Flowers said. It's been significantly renovated for the newest family business.

His mom, Paula Flowers, credits part of his interest in distilling to a love of science infused at a young age by "Bill Nye the Science Guy." They didn't have cable TV, so Chase Flowers would watch science programs for hours on end, she said.

Chase Flowers says it's simply a different application of the science behind heating and air conditioning work he's done. He estimates he'll be able to distill up to 32 gallons a day.

"It's a super-heated vapor, and it's essentially the same process," he said.

Flowers doesn't have a deal with a distributor or retailer yet, but he plans to distill special editions for plantations and other groups that provide him with corn.

The distillery will have a tasting room for customers 21 and older, where they can sample up to three half-ounces of liquor. Chase intends to start with his bourbon and moonshine in plain, apple cinnamon and blueberry.

A retail room with locally made items for sale and a place to watch the distilling will be open to visitors of all ages. Paula Flowers said she hopes people will see it as an educational opportunity, and perhaps even have school children visit on field trips.

Hours: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday, and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. during summer.

Information: 843-812-8337, Facebook page

In other changes about town:

  • The grand opening and ribbon-cutting ceremony for The Stillness Gym has been rescheduled because of weather to 4 p.m. Feb. 18 at 1105 Middleton St. in Beaufort.

    Information: thestillnessgym.com, facebook.com/TheStillnessGym, 843-300-0324

  • Groucho's Deli of Beaufort, a chain sandwich restaurant with locations in South Carolina, North Carolina and Georgia, will have its grand opening from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Feb. 18, according to its Facebook page. It is opening at 81 Sea Island Parkway, Lady's Island, the former home of Lighthouse Pizza.

    Information: facebook.com/GrouchosBFT, grouchos.com, 843-524-4545

Follow reporter Erin Moody at twitter.com/IBPG_Erin.

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