I don't know what's been going on lately with Wired magazine. It's like the outcasts who started and kept the thing (kindasorta) relevant and (kindasorta) on the cutting edge of modern culture for the last decade-plus finally gave up the ghost and let the Gilmore Girls crowd take over. (Kind of like what happened to punk rock. The line from the Dead Boys to Good Charlotte runs parallel to this one.)
How else does one explain the most recent issue, with Julia Allison shot at shin level on the cover and two (!) features on summer sports gear (1, 2) inside? One could be forgiven if they thought they'd opened up the Hammacher Schlemmer catalogue or something instead of the monthly bible-slash-almanac for the tech world.
(Am I exaggerating and generalizing to make a point? Am I writing this as if I stopped reading Wired regularly a dozen years ago, and thus anything that's happened since is, as far as I'm concerned, completely irrelevant? Well, yes and... yes. (Listen, voice in my head: two more paragraphs, and then we can go back to googling pictures of Olympic weightlifters again, okay?))
All that said, there's a nice little article in it about how to make modern moonshine, and the whiskey geeks who keep the tradition alive. It's no more legal now than it was then, but if you're doing it for home use and not selling the stuff to other commercial establishments, it doesn't sound like the revenuin' man is gonna come after you. And when done properly, it's not like it's any more dangerous to imbibe than any commercial drink.
"People are trying to keep a tradition alive," [Dave] Robison [of Pioneer Spirits, a small-batch manufacturer and distributor in Northern California] says. "They're not selling it. That's looked down on in the home distilling crowd. Most people I know aren't making more than a gallon at a time. Some people on the forum come from the moonshiner tradition, and we've learned a lot from them. But I've never met anyone who makes it for money."
We've profiled fine specialty whiskies here before, and if the home-distilling movement has gained enough traction to make it to the pages of Wired of all places, then it sounds like we won't be running out of chances to try some more in the future.[via liquorsnob - nice pic!]