China is a people country, which means that the rules and regulations are often bent if the merit is evident. The local government is willing to alter any regulations to push the project
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Lansing, Mich. (PRWEB) August 14, 2008
Can you buy moonshine whiskey legally? Maybe not in the United States, but soon you can in China. Illegal American corn whiskey, more commonly known as Moonshine, will be available legally through the Chinese market by the end of 2008.
LS Moonshine, LLC, a Lansing, Michigan company, is in the process of building a whiskey distillery in the south part of China, Huarong County, Hunan Province. Using a state-of-the-art German still, LS Moonshine, LLC will soon be capable of producing 90,000 liters of Moonshine a year. The Chinese market is the perfect venue for the introduction of this new whiskey, given that in China hard liquor is consumed at almost all weddings, festivals, parties and banquets.
"Back in 2002, Mr. Ian Smiley and I went to China with a bottle of home brewed and distilled moonshine. At a local government welcome banquet, we opened the bottle and passed the liquor around. Everyone liked the taste of it," said Tong Li, President of LS Moonshine, LLC. Mr. Smiley is a Canadian expert of Moonshine brewing and author of 'Making Pure Corn Whiskey'. "It is almost like Chinese traditional 'bai jiu' - white liquor, but smoother and with a hint of sweetness. Immediately, the head of the county, Mr. Jianguo Han and Mr. Guangqian Hu wanted us to establish a distillery in their county. They offered us tax incentives, land usage, license assistance right at the dinner table. They made us an offer we simply could not refuse," Mr. Li told one reporter.
China has been experiencing double-digit economic growth for the past 20 years, due largely to entrepreneurs in the private sector helped by the state and local governments with bold innovative policies.
"Liquor is a high tax revenue product for local, provincial and the state government. Therefore they want the distillery," said Tong Li. "Mr. Hu immediately pointed out that there is no Chinese made whiskey on the market, and all the imported whiskey, aged in oak barrels, has a strong oak taste which is very hard for Chinese people to swallow. He obviously recognized the high potential for Moonshine whiskey in Chinese market."
It seems that the Moonshine project is established more than legally. "China is a people country, which means that the rules and regulations are often bent if the merit is evident. The local government is willing to alter any regulations to push the project," Tong said.
Later when Mr. Li decided not to pursue the venture, Mr. Han came personally to the United States to persuade the businessman to continue the project.
"My wife doesn't like the idea of producing moonshine and I am not a drinker," Mr. Li explains. "But Mr. Han patiently pointed out to me that the Moonshine project, as the first whiskey distillery in China, would bring not only employment to the local people, but also boost the name recognition of his county and build its image, attracting even more investment."
Even with China's recent rapid economic growth, the majority of the population of inner China is still in rural communities; farmers working in the rice field with little income and no health insurance. "If we can share 1% of the Chinese liquor market, we would be able to employ hundreds of people, as well as spending millions of dollars at the local markets. This would help local people tremendously, since China is consuming about 4.9 billion liters (1.3 billion gallons) of bai jiu-white liquor a year," Tong said.
With the green light all the way from local and provincial government, the project is moving fast now that it is on track.
"Before the end of the year, you will be able to bring a bottle of famous Moonshine whiskey from China, made from an Appalachian recipe and distilled by a state-of-the-art German distillery, more than legally," Tong said with a smile.
Contact: Tong Li, LS Moonshine, LLC., 1709 Thompson St. Suite 311, Lansing, MI 48906, Tel: 517-371-3063, Fax: 517-371-3028, Email: admin @ lsmoonshine.com