Mad Buffalo Distillery in Union this week received its state distilled spirits plant license, taking its final step to becoming Missouri’s newest licensed distillery.

Mad Buffalo Distillery will start production with an unaged white whiskey based on the owners’ family traditions with a recipe that has been handed down for generations. Their first product, Thunderbeast Storm Moonshine, is a modification of this family recipe and should be on the shelves across Missouri by the end of the year.

“Moonshine has been mostly regulated to a novelty in the modern era, but for many generations, moonshines, or unaged white whiskeys, were a staple of homesteaders throughout the United States,” said Chris Burnette, Mad Buffalo Distillery president and CEO.

“My own family history includes many farmers and homesteaders that distilled grain as a means of survival,” he said. “It wasn’t until Prohibition sent moonshine production underground that these people produced anything illegal. It’s now time to reintroduce the whiskey that our great-grandparents enjoyed.”

Their traditional recipe and process will be made from 100 percent Missouri corn, grown, milled, malted, prepared, mashed, fermented and distilled on site at their family farm, Shawnee Bend Farms in Union.

Distillery owners hope to reconnect customers with the nation’s agricultural heritage and whiskey making traditions by creating a unique product that is sustainable, environmentally friendly, and tastes great.

“We want to introduce a great tasting whiskey to a new and growing segment of the population that has not had the opportunity to experience a smooth white whiskey. We hope that it will be as comfortable straight as it is in mixed drinks,” stated Vice President of Operations William “Cole” Uphouse.

Mad Buffalo Distillery is a small, local, family-owned company with ties to eastern Missouri and eastern Tennessee. The company also has generations of distillers on both sides of the family.

So far, Mad Buffalo Distillery has received its federal DSP permit, its Missouri state DSP permit, and federal label approval. Before the company can begin sales, it needs to register its product with the state of Missouri. The owners have already begun that process for their first product — Thunderbeast Storm Moonshine.

The distillery will begin production this week and most sales will be handled through its distributor. The company also will self-distribute in Franklin County. For more information on sales, contact

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