Appalachian Grown: Manncave Distillers

West Virginia

Manncave Distillers in Weston, W.Va. offers gin, vodka, and moonshine produced in the Mountain State. (WBOY Image)

WESTON, W.Va. — Manncave Distillers’ doors may have opened in 2018, but its history started well beforehand. The water used for the distillery’s award-winning beverages is filtered in from hand-dug mines built over 70 years ago.

The mine is only about two feet high and send 110 gallons of water every minute to the distillery.

The water from the mines is filtered into the distillery’s system and is used to make whiskey, gin, vodka, and moonshine. A product perfected in West Virginia, Manncave’s distillers took pride in its moonshine, and the world took notice.

“It’s a double gold at the San Francisco World Spirits competition which is the Oscars of the spirits industry,” said owner Stephen Mann.

I would love to make West Virginia the moonshine capital of the world.

stephen mann

Specifically, the cinnamon moonshine won the top prize in the competition. Although the original moonshine was the second-most sold item Manncave had, Mann said the cinnamon sold nearly twice as much in the short time it had been available. Despite it being the newest product on the line, it became the most popular and highest acclaimed.

“We had literally just finished the product a couple days before I shipped it,” Mann said. “I was not expecting a double gold on that one. I wasn’t really expecting anything from that one.”

The trophy cabinet atop the register of Manncave Distillers.

In addition to the cinnamon moonshine’s achievements, all of Manncave’s beverages won an award in the San Francisco competition. However, the global recognition had not shielded the distillery from struggles.

“We’ve been trying to get bottles for almost a year now. We’ve been unable to do so,” said Mann. “I don’t know when I’m going to see another bottle. I may have to be figuring some other solution or, god forbid, shut the place down.”

When the bottles do arrive eventually, Mann was eager to roll out the newest installation in Manncave’s arsenal — a rum that Mann already has 3,000 pounds of stored away, waiting to be released.

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