When it comes to moonshining, what you put into it is what you get out of it. And Discovery Channel went all in unlocking a potent formula in the hit series Moonshiners, a docuseries that follows the insular world of a handful of backwoods moonshiners and the law officials trying to stop them. Season 2 of Moonshiners returns to Discovery Channel Wednesdays at 10pm ET/PT, beginning Nov. 7.
One of the stars of the series is Southwestern Virginia native Tim Smith, a living legend in those parts, who’s been brewing “good liquor” considered a “whole lot stronger” than what you’d find on any liquor shelf — that, of course, is according to his sidekick Tickle. Last season, both men allowed cameras to follow their step-by-step process of secretly brewing shine and shared what potential profits could be. (Moonshining dates back to the 1700s and is a $100 million industry, where moonshiners can average $30,000 in just three months.)
“The reason Tim let us into his world was he was at a bit of a cross section in his life, where his father had recently passed away and Tim, I think, had something to prove about his father and how successful his father’s recipe was,” says Matt Ostrom, the series’ executive producer. “He exposed his world for the opportunity, for hopefully, potentially, he can go legal.” Tim’s dream is to open his own distillery and launch his own brand. Season 2 promises a full dose of Tim and Tickle, as well as some new characters, in its 12-episode run, with two “After the Shine”-like specials planned.
“We’re all really, really excited to share this new group of people, as well as Tim and Tickle,” Ostrom says. “We did an amazing job of building on last season — being dramatic, compelling and funny at times. This season we have taken that and multiplied that by 10. We added fantastic characters in very, very unique worlds, and viewers are going to get a peek into a slice of life where no one has been able to look behind the curtain before.”
A few of the newbies include seventh-generation moonshiner Jeff Waldroup from North Carolina, along with his sidekick Mark, described as a true mountain boy. “He does not need a supermarket, to say the least,” Ostrom laughs. “He’s very comfortable living in the woods.” The legendary Jim Tom Hedrick, a retired Graham County moonshiner, is another character featured.
“Jim Tom is literally a moonshine legend,” Ostrom says. “He’s a very charismatic, over-the-top moonshiner who’s been making moonshine his whole life.” And behind all this moonshining expertise is the law and the individuals tracking them. A lot is brewing for Season 2 as cameras document both sides of the story.
Discovery press materials detail new season 2 moonshiners, as follows:
· Jeff and Mark – Brothers-in-law, Jeff is a seventh generation moonshiner and continues the family tradition of making the best moonshine around, while keeping his family fed and bills paid. Mark is a fourth generation moonshiner, mountain man and expert marksman whose family lives off the land.
· Jim Tom – A larger than life veteran moonshiner who has taught Jeff and Mark much of what he knows about making superior Moonshine.
· Josh and Bill – Rookie moonshiners who build a massive underground still site hidden in a very public space. Since most moonshiners build their stills in the woods, camouflaged from sight and law enforcement, these brazen beginners are pressing their luck from the very start. Josh’s constant canine companion throughout his travels and adventures is Cutie Pie.