Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Things to Do: pottery, moonshine, and ice cream; Edgefield, South Carolina


EDGEFIELD

This modest town with a formal square is located about 3 hours northwest of Charleston and is home to the headquarters for the National Wild Turkey Federation.  It is also home to the largest peach grower outside of California, Titan Farms.  And in 1997 it was transformed into the fictional town of Edgefield, Massachusetts in the Disney movie “That Darn Cat.”  Nowadays, the area is making culinary waves at nearby Juniper restaurant in Ridge Spring.

Old Edgefield Pottery  230 Simkins St., (803) 634-1634.  Thur-Sat 10am-4pm.  Master potter Justin Guy works here making the town’s namesake pottery, which range in color from olive green to pumpkin brown.  The fine stoneware style dates to the early 1800 and is highly collectible.  Several pieces are in the Smithsonian.  A tour and demonstration can be scheduled during which you’ll learn the history of one of South Carolina’s most memorable art forms (the others being Catawba Indian pottery and sweetgrass baskets).  At other times you can view an informal collection of pots--a sort of small museum--that Guy uses for inspiration.  “I love the pots,” he says.  “They all tell stories.”

Master Potter Justin Guy in front of historic pottery collection in Old Edgefield Pottery in Edgefield, South Carolina
Master Potter Justin Guy in front of historic pottery collection in Old Edgefield Pottery in Edgefield, South Carolina


face jugs from Africa at Old Edgefield Pottery in Edgefield, South Carolina
face jugs from Africa at Old Edgefield Pottery in Edgefield, South Carolina


Edgefield General Store  102 Courthouse Square, (803) 637-3100.  Tu-Sat 10am-6pm.  Just around the corner from the pottery shop, this old fashioned general store has its original soda fountain and serves up hand-dipped ice cream.  I chose butter pecan.

ice cream sample at Edgefield General Store in Edgefield, South Carolina
ice cream sample at Edgefield General Store in Edgefield, South Carolina


Carolina Moon Distillery  116 Courthouse Square, (609) 510-7465.  Tu-Sat 11am-5pm.  $3/taste.  Must be age 21+.  Step inside here to sample some of South Carolina’s famous moonshine, which nowadays is totally legal, still local, and handcrafted.  In fact, this shop is located just across from the county courthouse.  Here they use local corn and other fresh produce--even the area’s famous peaches--to make memorable 100% corn moonshine whiskeys, bourbons, vodkas, and rums.  You can see the stills and sample the wares, including blends--don’t miss trying the smooth Rabbit Spit (116-proof moonshine that is “mean enough to make a rabbit spit in a bulldog’s face”) and blackberry moonshine, which is particularly popular because it is good in lemonade.  Production takes place both upstairs--known as the “fun level,” where the stills are--and in the dank dark downstairs, where the mashing, which entails enzymes and yeast and fermentation, is done “low and slow.”  They use old recipes in what is described as a “pretty primitive process,” and use an old-time pot still.  “There’s nothing new with what we do,” says owner David Long.   “We got into this business because we like to weld and build stuff.” 
still tour with David Long at Carolina Moon Distillery in Edgefield, South Carolina
still tour with David Long at Carolina Moon Distillery in Edgefield, South Carolina


David Long in packing area at Carolina Moon Distillery in Edgefield, South Carolina
David Long in packing area at Carolina Moon Distillery in Edgefield, South Carolina


peach moonshine in Mason jar at Carolina Moon Distillery in Edgefield, South Carolina
peach moonshine in Mason jar at Carolina Moon Distillery in Edgefield, South Carolina


Rabbit Spit moonshine at Carolina Moon Distillery in Edgefield, South Carolina
Rabbit Spit moonshine at Carolina Moon Distillery in Edgefield, South Carolina


More things to do in Edgefield, South Carolina.

More things to do in South Carolina

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images ©2017 Carole Terwilliger Meyers