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Fightin’ over moonshine recipe is classic Carolina tale

  • Charlotte Observer
  • Published Tuesday, Feb. 18, 2014, at 10:48 a.m.
  • Updated Tuesday, Feb. 18, 2014, at 2:24 p.m.

It had the makings of a storybook Carolina partnership.

In 2010, a distillery co-owned by NASCAR legend Junior Johnson teamed up with one of North Carolina’s most famous moonshine families. Before long, business was booming.

North Wilkesboro resident Brian Call shared family recipes for making fruit-flavored moonshine, and customers snapped up thousands of Mason jars filled with the legal liquor.

But in a lawsuit filed last year, Call alleged that the partnership soured after the handsome royalty checks he had been receiving from Piedmont Distillers stopped coming.

Call contended the makers of the popular Midnight Moon brand breached their contract.

Piedmont Distillers, based in the small town of Madison, north of Greensboro, “disputed the substantive allegations” in Call’s complaint, a company attorney said.

But in December, the company and Call agreed to a confidential settlement.

Call and Piedmont’s president declined to comment on the lawsuit. Johnson could not be reached. But court papers and other sources show how the partnership formed – and unraveled

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