Gallery of Past Club Events
Moonshine & Moonpies
August 30, 2008
Our Drive to Lunch for August was a wonderful event organized by Bill & Kathy Wemhoff. We met at the historic Aldie Mill in Aldie, Va., to collect our route maps and organize into our caravan for the drive. As this was billed as a Moonshine and Moonpies Drive, Kathy also had Moonpies for everyone to enjoy.
Joining Bill & Kathy was their son Ryan and his friend Shannon driving the Wemhoff’s Triumph TR-6, Steve & Nancy Woodall, Larry Newman with friend Diana and Bill & Karen Marshall, all in MGAs. Doug & Kay Campbell arrived in their Magnette and we were followed about during the day in what we finally determined to be a prototype MG minivan. Sharp eyes noted the MGA hubcap on one wheel of Keith & Kathy Kallapos’ vehicle, sporting a paint-to-disguise Toyota color rather than traditional British Green we would expect on an Abingdon product.
Our Drive took us through the community of Aldie into Middleburg where we turned onto Zulla Road and meandered our way towards Marshall, passing Willoughby Farm, home of Bill & Barbara Scott and also the location of the MGCC Hunt Country Classic to be held this year on Oct. 12. More perfect MGA roads took us around the back side of Warrenton, past South Wales towards Opal. Crossing Route 29 we continued on back roads through Sumerduck to reach Zachary Taylor Highway which took us to our destination of the Belmont Farm Distillery. Upon arriving at the Distillery, we were greeted by fellow chapter member Tom Ford, who had made the drive up from Luray in his MGA.
At the Distillery, we were given a guided tour by head ‘shine maker Chuck Miller. Chuck explained the different distilling techniques used to make traditional clear corn whiskey, which is known as moonshine or white lightning and triple grain whiskey, which combines corn, wheat and barley and is aged in barrels for two years to give it a more mellow flavor and its coloring before bottling. While samples were not available for tasting, it was available for sale in the gift shop and numerous bottles of each were seen being tucked away in the boots of the visiting MGAs.
After our visit to the distillery, we reformed our caravan and headed for Culpeper. There we enjoyed lunch at the Hazel River Inn Restaurant. The restaurant is located in the oldest commercial building in the historic district of Culpeper. Reported to be haunted, the building dates to 1790 and over time has been used as a stable, tobacco warehouse, hardware store and numerous restaurants. During the Civil War, the lower level was used as a jail by both armies when they occupied the town. The staff has reported many unexplained events such as lights turning on and off, items being moved from tables and the occasional sighting of ghosts and figures in the restaurant after hours. We were treated to a tour of the building including the lower level area which housed the jail, but Butch Smith did not appear while we were there.
After a fine lunch, our drive was over and while some holding Jimmy Buffet concert tickets for that night sprinted towards home, others remained to stroll the shops of Culpeper before heading back. Our thanks go out to Bill & Kathy for organizing this Drive, finding the Moonpies and for arranging the perfect weather to go along with the day.