Dark Corner Distillery: Greenville’s Unique Firewater
Open less than a year, Dark Corner Distillery graces Greenville with something special, South Carolina’s first legal moonshine. Although many have written, heard and read about the Upstate’s first micro distillery, the community support has been less than impressive. This is not a lesson in the history of moonshine rather, a look into our very own local moonshine maker. An artful craft is underway and the product is rich, flavorful and unique. Yes, flavorful is the word that pops into my head when owner, Joe Fenten hands me the first sip of his moonshine, the second word, butter. It was a slight burn that quickly fades and reinvents itself into a caramel butter ball. Who knew this one sip could bring out more flavor than any highly commercialized spirit.
What’s It All About?
If you are the wary martini lover or the Guiness guzzler, this is your time to spread your wings and see what Greenville has to offer. The distillery is fully operational behind glass windows while customers browse the many varieties of moonshine. Not only will owner’s Joe Fenten and Richard Wenger give you a lesson in this old art, they will show you how to properly taste moonshine and celebrate its unique flavor. Dark Corner takes you on a journey from the stills of mountain moonshiners to tasting spirits from Greenville’s Downtown distillery.
This local distillery uses local ingredients and practices environmental responsibility by donating spent grain to a local farm and the distillery’s methanola by-product to a bio-desiel distillery, which in turn produces the first ever in America, moonshine infused soap. Although the weathered copper still looks like it’s too pretty to work, Dark Corner’s moonshine process stays true to that of the 1830s.
Do We Really Support Local?
I stopped by to take a look and talk to Joe Fenten about business and how our local community can show support, not just read and applaud our small local businesses, actually go out of our way and support our very own. Many talk about supporting local by eating, drinking and buying, but do we? Maybe that extra buck is worth spending on a pound of carrots at our local farmer’s market or the choice of a local beverage instead of your favorite European lager; these simple practices can keep our thriving community alive and more independent of outside products and goods. This is a simple concept that unfortunately, most locals do not actively participate in.
Here’s what Joe had to say, “While Greenville residents continue to support the local food scene, it has been a bit of a challenge to receive the same support from the local bars and restaurants for locally produced craft beverages. One would think that every watering hole in town would want to support breweries, wineries and distilleries hand over fist; this doesn’t seem to be the case. Certain venues on Main Street strive to stock their bars with the little guy’s products while others continue to promote the mass produced brands that put NO emphasis on quality or craft. Granted, craft beverages are often more expensive (fresh, local ingredients cost more) but through education, awareness and an open mind, the drinker will find that the extra money is worth the taste and quality.”- Joe Fenten, Dark Corner Distillery
This weekend, stop by Dark Corner and take a look, tell them we sent you; next time you see your local bartender ask if they serve our local moonshine! Where there is demand there will be supply!