Can Moonshine Be Turned Into a Proper Store Brand? | Adweek
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Moonshine Leaves the Woods for Store Shelves

Enter Tim Smith’s Climax

Despite grumbling from some quarters that the Discovery series Moonshiners—which shines the camera light on the bootleggers of backwoods Appalachia—is a dramatization, one component of the show just got real: Tim Smith, the series’ bibbed-overall-wearing star, has gone into retail.

Prost Beverage has inked a deal with Smith to sell his booze under the name Climax. Said Smith in a statement: “My moonshine is legit, and it’s still the real deal.”

If Smith sounds defensive, it may be because concessions are inevitable when turning country hootch into a store brand. Climax comes in peach and grape, and its 79 proof is far tamer than the 150 proof stuff that stills often spill. To make the leap, Prost enlisted the aid of brand development agency Beardwood & Co., which designed packaging that manages the competing ends of looking haute and hillbilly at the same time.

When it comes to moonshine, “there are a lot of Mason jars, XXXs and jugs with handles,” said Beardwood managing partner Ryan Lynch. “We wanted to tell the true story of Tim’s distilling with authenticity, but no clichés.”

The resulting bottle uses a kraft paper label that features Smith’s dog Camo as the mascot. The bottle’s also clear, as befits white lightning—them brown liquors being for cityfolk and all.

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