Asheville is Beer City USA, with more craft breweries per capita than anywhere else in the U.S. Other towns in North Carolina have become hot spots for beer, but oat sodas are getting some competition in the craft alcoholic beverage market - in the form of spirits. When he started writing 'Still & Barrel - Craft Spirits In The Old North State', author John Francis Trump says there were 50 craft distilleries in North Carolina. A little more than a year later, he estimates there are around 70 - with no signs of the craft liquor boom slowing down. He sat down with BPR's Matt Bush to discuss his book. Trump visited many distilleries across North Carolina including some in the western part of the state. His book touches on the personalities that bring craft distilleries to life, the extensive and finely-crafted facilities used to make liquor, why many of these distillers use locally-grown crops for their spirits (one uses specially grown corn from a McDowell County farm that has higher fat content than regular corn - because just like with meat, fat is flavor), and the history of alcohol production in North Carolina and the significant affect Prohibition still has on it (North Carolina went dry in 1908, 11 years before the U.S. did as a whole. The state stayed that way until 1938, five years after Prohibition ended in the U.S.) A shorter version of their talk can be heard below.
Some of the Western North Carolina distilleries featured in the book -