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Marion store wins state's OK to sell its whisky and moonshine

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The town of Marion is welcoming moonshine to Main Street. For the first time since 2007, the commonwealth of Virginia has licensed a standalone venue, where specific spirits can be tasted and purchased outside the state-run stores.

Appalachian Mountain Spirits Mercantile, located at 112 East Main Street (across from the General Francis Marion Hotel), has officially received the state's permission to allow on-premises tastings and retail off-premises sales of its War Horn Whisky and Virginia Sweetwater Moonshine.

The business began the process several years ago, as owner Scott Schumaker and his wife, Dana, received license to distill and wholesale their product at their stillhouse just outside Marion in Smyth County. Demand continued to grow, and the Schumakers soon began exploring opportunities to bring their product to a larger audience, especially locally.

"We wanted to create Virginia's best whisky and moonshine," said Schumaker, "but also create opportunities for local neighbors to work for our company, our neighbors to enjoy our products, and to help our community build its brand as a cultural heritage tourism destination. ABC Store #027, right on Main Street, ties together with the hotel, restaurants, Lincoln Theatre, concerts, Song of the Mountains, and all our unique assets in one neat, walkable package."

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"We are delighted to see Scott and Dana bring another business to our community," said Ken Heath, Marion's director of economic development. "The vibrancy all our new businesses and events are helping our core anchors, and downtown is as exciting as I've ever seen it. This brings another new business and another six jobs to our community."

Appalachian Mountain Spirits is home of two award-winning spirits, War Horn Whisky and Virginia Sweetwater Moonshine. Other products, including the exclusive Back of the Dragon moonshine, flavorings, local and regional crafts, foods, and collectibles are available for sale at the downtown store. Visitors can also schedule a Still Night, where Schumaker takes them to the original stillhouse, teaches the craft of moonshining, and provides a special dinner.

The mercantile is located on 112 East Main Street. It’s open 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and Sunday 1-6 p.m. It may be reached at 276-782-0932.

For additional information, contact Scott Schumaker at 276-782-0932 or appmtnspirits@yahoo.com.

For information on activities and business opportunities in Marion, contact Heath at 276-378-5026 or kheath@marionva.org.

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