Popcorn Sutton: Whiskey Rebel


KenK's picture

While a closer examination of Sutton's life shows he had feet of clay (just like everyone else) but that on the whole he lead his life his own way and on his own terms without harming or defrauding others. It also shows the value of being part of a "tribe" when standing up to the USG (nb: his aquitals, and lenient sentences when found guilty because of family and community support). I regret that now I'll never be able to sample a shot or three of Popcorn's product. R.I.P. Mr. Sutton.

wkmac's picture

I live a couple hours south of Maggie Valley NC in Northern Georgia and Popcorn is legend and hero among the locals. "Likker makin'" as it's called is firmly in the roots and heritage of the area and the attitude is, "what's the harm here?"

In my early years of industrial maintenance, I worked with one of the best still makers of Rabun County Georgia in the 1940's and 1950's and there were always dozens and dozens of great stories. But one I always found of great interest that he told.

Every so often the revenuers would come for a visit to bust stills and lock folk up. So happens that the locals always had a good idea when this would occur so they agreed to shut down all the still operations in the area. The locals would then find a spot on gov't land, build a fully operational still with a stockpile of product and once done they'd feed the information to the local snitch and the revenuers would show up and bust up the still. Of course no body is ever there but because they all had shutdown operations, no likker was coming out of Rabun County and no other stills are found. The gov't assumes they'd done their jobs, Washington bosses happy, so they'd leave Rabun County for other opportunities. Not long after the revenuers had left Rabun County in peace, everything returned to normal until the next visit.

I always thought it very instructive how these folks worked together in mutual interest to rid the gov't from their presence. I often wonder what lessons we might be well served to learn from these folks and people like Popcorn but are we just to locked into our own personal "ism's" to do so?

These folks won't call it libertarianism or even anarchism but in much of it's practice, these folks live much of every day following a lot of those principles we all admire.

Glock27's picture

I am sure most everyone here knows you can legitimize your still. A little money and paper work to the ATFE and you can be on your way as long as you are the only one doin the sipping. Of course one could legitimize his own little still and pursue defiance. I've never pursued it because the materials are expensive, all to be found on line, even the purchase of a still that will make up to, I believe, around four gallons.
There must be some other ways to pursue defiance that would take little effort or time.