JACKSONVILLE, NC (WWAY) — The Wounded Warrior Project has a new sponsor, and you could say he has a lot of sprits.
Diablo Distilleries in Jacksonville is making more than moonshine. It’s trying to make a difference.
Diablo is donating a portion of its proceeds to the Wounded Warrior Project, which helps servicemen and women recovering from injuries.
The distillery was started by a veteran. He says he really wanted to give back, and now is the perfect time.
Recent shows like Discovery Channel’s “Moonshiners” have taken the corn liquor out of the backwoods and into America’s livingroom.
“So many people are trying to launch moonshine right now,” Diablo owner and operator Phillip O’Hara said.
O’Hara says interest in moonshine production and sales have really increased, and the timing could not be more perfect.
“It’s like the stars aligned for us to help us with our launch,” he said.
His product has launched in 22 counties across the state, including New Hanover. But O’Hara says that’s not what really got his product on shelves.
“They decided to sell mine probably for the sole fact we’re giving ten percent back to Wounded Warrior projects,” O’Hara said,
O’Hara was a combat field medic for nearly a decade, including during Desert Storm. He says seeing the injuries young men suffered during battle always stuck with him, and now he’s giving back.
“To help them reintegrate back into society,” O’Hara said.
Lead distiller William Felker said, “Having grown up in the military community, it’s just something that’s part of your life, so it just seems right to give back to them.”
Felker says he likes being a part of a local business, especially one of only six distilleries in the state that handles every step of the process. Diablo does everything from grinding the corn to labeling the bottles.
“People are really interested in moonshine right now,” O’Hara said. “Two years from now it might be something else.”
If the interest in clear corn whiskey declines, O’Hara says other products are already in the works. We could see an apple pie drink from Diablo Distilleries hit shelves in just a few months.