When it comes to questionable alcoholic drinks, moonshine tops the list. This high-proof liquor isn't exactly above board and derives its name from distillers producing it at night in order to avoid detection. Its production might be dicey, but the industry is reportedly compelling enough for it to earn its own reality TV series on the Discovery Channel.
Enter Moonshiners, a long-running docudrama that chronicles the illegal industry of moonshine.
The show goes into great detail about moonshine production and the great lengths that distillers go to in order to evade the law. The series's credibility has been called into question multiple times, but the show has lasted for over 12 seasons and is still ongoing.
When a show runs for that long, there are bound to be spinoffs with more distillers coming out of the woodwork to be a part of the action. One such distiller is Richard Landry, who has had great success.
Meet Richard Landry, an award-winning distiller featured on a 'Moonshiners' spinoff.
Richard Landry is a professional truck driver based in Louisiana. According to a profile piece on Noire Online, he got into the moonshine business after being inspired by Moonshiners itself. While watching the first season when it premiered in December 2011, he became enamored by the process of producing this drink and decided to try it for himself.
"It wasn't just something I jumped into on a whim. I researched the process to understand the science behind it," he told Noire Online.
After some trial and error, he grew to love the process. From then on, he became a known distiller, selling intensely-flavored liquors. Eventually, he got the chance to show his stuff within the world of Moonshiners. He was featured in the second season of a competitive spinoff called Moonshiners: Master Distiller. He was even crowned "Master Distiller," winning over the judges with his unique Louisiana cherry rum concoction. The judges dubbed him "the Spice King."
His success didn't stop there, however. Starting from Season 11, Richard became a series regular on the original Moonshiners, producing new and unique liquors and sharing his secret with fellow distillers in the industry. While on the show, Richard has produced liquors made from sweet potatoes, cotton candy, and has even concocted "bloody mary moonshine" and a "sea-aged manglier tea whiskey."
Richard also competed in Moonshiners: Master Distiller Tournament of Champions.
Richard also makes appearances in Season 12, giving advice to other distillers while continuing to hone his own craft.
As he once stated in his Master Distiller interview, Richard wants to share both his liquor and his own skills with other prospects in the field.
"My mission is to teach the next generation to pass this art form on," he declared. "Winning Master Distiller is just affirmation that I'm teaching them the correct things."
Catch new episodes of Moonshiners every Wednesday at 8 p.m. EST on the Discovery Channel.