On Monday, the Johnston County Commissioners and the Johnston County Economic Development Advisory Board recognized Jeremy Norris and Broadslab Distillery by honoring North Carolina’s first farm distillery with the County’s “Industry Appreciation” award. This award is presented quarterly to Johnston County Industries.
According to the Broadslab Distillery website, there are many speculations as to how the flat, pine-forested region of southeastern Johnston County, North Carolina, known as “Broadslab,” got its name. Some say it was the flat terrain of the area southeast of Benson, supposedly formed by a glancing meteorite strike eons ago. Others argue it was because of a broad road leading toward the coast that was constructed from pine slabs laid on the soggy flat land to keep wagons from miring down. But, no one argues about how the area got its reputation as the “Moonshine Capital” of North Carolina.
“With the recent announcements by pharmaceutical giants Novo Nordisk and Grifols Therapeutics, Johnston County is seen as the epicenter of pharmaceutical manufacturing,” stated Chris Johnson, Director of Economic Development for Johnston County. “Many will attest this is due to our close proximity to the various universities of higher education and the RTP. I will jokingly argue that it’s due to our regions rich pharmaceutical history and local entrepreneurs who sought to maximize the yields from their farm crops by converting grain into a more “liquid” commodity.”
Today Broadslab Distillery and the Broadslab Legacy line of products have captured, not only the true heritage of the region’s famed moonshine, but has also preserved the craft, skills, and techniques of over five generations.
“Tracing family lines back as far as verbal history can be followed, the knowledge that I have gained to craft this product is rooted in my Great-Great Grandfathers on both sides of my family, and passed through their descendants,” states Jeremy Norris, owner and operator of Broadslab Distillery. “I and my family are humbled and it is indeed an honor to have received this award.”
Broadslab Distillery has been seen on regional and national TV shows such as: WRAL’s Tar Heel Traveler, UNC-TV, WNCN – My Carolina Today and nationally acclaimed A Chef’s Life. Tours showcasing the distillery are available to the public.
Broadslab Distillery is located at 4834 NC Hwy 50 South, Benson.