The History of Moonshine Jugs

the history of moonshine jugs

Nothing goes together like moonshine and large jug. Moonshine jugs have become a symbol for shiners worldwide. But how did they come about? 


Moonshine jugs are often seen as a symbol of moonshining. Moonshine holds a memorable place in many American's hearts.

Fermentation is almost as old as humanity itself. In fact, it is believed that humans evolved to be able to digest ethanol  and we were then able to consume fruit after it had started to rot. 


This fruit had started to ferment and contained ethanol. Not only did it possibly help many early people survive, it also introduced them to the effects of alcohol. 


So fermenting is not only a way to enjoy spirits but for early people it was also a means of survival. 


Early American Moonshine


early american moonshine


For early American settlers, moonshine was a way to avoid waste and increase the value of their crops. In fact, you could say moonshine is more American than apple pie! 

Early American settlers, particularly those in grain producing states, distilled excess grain as a means of reducing waste as well as increasing their profits. It didn't take long for early pioneers to realize that whiskey was much more valuable than the corn it was made with. 

Moonshine became an important part of early American life. In fact, moonshine even became a form of currency at one point. Unfortunately, this was not made to last. 


What is Whiskey Tax?


As the American Revolutionary war was set to change the future for the United States, it also caused changes in the consumption of spirits in the future United States. 

The Revolutionary war interrupted rum distribiution and beer spoiled more easily than spirits and was difficult to transport. All of these factors led to an increase in whiskey consumption. 

A newly formed federal government imposed a 'whiskey tax'.  The "whiskey tax" became law in 1791 as a way of recouperating the cost of a war. This was the first tax imposed on a domestic product. 

While the tax was applied to all domestic spirits, with the increase in the consumption of whiskey it quickly became known as the whiskey tax. 

The Whiskey Rebellion


image depicting the whiskey rebellion


Farmers of the Western froniter had spent many years distilling their excess grain for either profit or trade resisted the tax. In the early stages of the rebellion, farmers used intimidation and violence to evade the tax. 

The tensions came to a head when in July 1794 a US marshal was sent to western Pensylvania in order to serve writs to distillers who had not paid their owed taxes. As the news spread, more than 500 armed men attacked the home of home inspector General John Neville. 

President George Washington responded by both sending peace commissioners to negotiate with the rebels as well as militia force to enforce the tax. The rebels all went home well before the 13,000 militia arrived and confrontation was avoided. 

The whiskey tax remained difficult to collect and was repealled in the early 1800's during the Jefferson administration. 


The History of Moonshine Jugs

While they are not the only way to store moonshine, moonshine jugs are often associated with 'white lightning'. 

Traditionally, stoneware jugs, also referred to as liquor crocks or jugs, whiskey jugs, and shoulder jugs, were used to store moonshine. While these type of jugs are not exclusively used to store moonshine, they are certainly forever linked with storing spirits. 

These old whisky jugs don’t contain harmful chemicals or lead. They are quality-made and durable stoneware that are very easy to clean.

You can safely drink and store water, soda, fruit juice, fermented tea, or liquor in these old whiskey jugs.

Moonshine jugs can also be used as a rustic decoration. In this article, we have reviewed the best old moonshine jugs so you can make an informed buying decision. 


Why are Old Moonshine Jugs Marked XXX? 

moonshine jug xxx

Most people have only seen moonshine jugs in caricatures or cartoons, but we most likely know what it is: a vintage jug marked with XXX that is usually full of moonshine.


The XXX mark specifically refers to the distilling process of moonshine and has nothing to do with showing it may be poison. Historically, the XXX symbol was used by moonshiners to imply that their brew had gone through the still three times, showing buyers that it was strong alcohol and pure.


They lacked sophisticated distilling equipment so the result of the first distillation was usually lower in alcohol and not tasting too good. The subsequent runs were used to purify the moonshine, increasing its strength and purity.


Therefore, the XXX mark was an easy and quick way to show the buyers of the whiskey that it was of higher quality and triple distilled.


Review of the Best Old Moonshine Jug For Sale 

moonshine jug

Ohio Stoneware Old Fashioned Stoneware Jug Growler


  • Durable construction 
  • Dishwasher and microwave safe 
  • Stick resistant and non-absorbent 
  • Heavy-duty cork stopper 

Drink like the peasants back in the days when the ‘shiners were the toast of the town.

This Old Fashioned Stoneware Jug Growler is a unique and classic product to drink from.

A food safe and sturdy stoneware bottle like this is a rustic and reliable option for any beverage you would like to put in it.


This jug can be filled with up to 64 ounces of water, liquor, beer, and much more. You will be rest assured that the cork stopper that comes with it will help keep any undesirables out.


Keep it on your kitchen counter and add some relaxed charm instantly to your living space warmth.

With a brown and beige color design that gives it a homey feel, you will feel at home taking a swig from this moonshine jug.

If you are looking for an authentic stoneware moonshine jug that is as American as apple pie, the Ohio Stoneware Old Fashioned Stoneware Jug Growler is for you. 




Circleware O67052 Moonshine Glass Growler Jug 

moonshine jug


  • Free from polycarbonate, PVC, phthalate, or BPA 
  • Elegant design 
  • Preserves and presents flavor as intended 
  • Made of clear glass 

Enjoy your drinks in the most stylish and comfortable 100% lead-free moonshine jug. It’s perfect for juices as well as all beverages.

The glass pitcher doesn’t contain any harmful chemicals such as polycarbonate, PVC, phthalate, or BPA, so you can be sure that nothing will leach into your drink from the glass.

With its contemporary design, the elegant look of this moonshine jug will add to the aesthetics of any table. The jug is shaped to be an all-purpose glass as the base of the glass provides maximum stability.

Additionally, the unique shape of the glass enhances the liquors and juice flavors and aromas, presenting and preserving flavor as intended. 

Packaging For You 375 ml Moonshine Jug Glass Bottle 

moonshine jug


  • BPA-free glass 
  • 100% recyclable container 
  • Straight body panel design perfect for label production and silk screen decorating 
  • One finger pistol grip handle 
  • Clear container for optimal product display 

The Packaging For You 375 ml Moonshine Jug Glass Bottle is a top-shelf jug with a timeless design for a wide range of liquid products.

This moonshine jug has a classic spirits profile with the unique pistol grip for one finger carry.

The jug’s thick base enhances shelf presence while also evoking a sense of quality.

This container’s tall neck has a blunt bar-top neck with a neck opening of 18.5mm. The package of this moonshine jug provides enough room for label application and silkscreen decoration to enhance shelf presence.

Ideal for spirit beverages and liqueur, this jug can be used in various applications and markets. The Packaging For You 375 ml Moonshine Jug Glass Bottle comes with bar tops or synthetic stopper to withstand many uncorking. 

Packaging For You 750 ml Moonshine Jug Glass Bottle 


moonshine jug



  • Timeless spirits bottle design 
  • Synthetic cork stoppers 
  • Molded handle with a narrow neck 

This 750 ml heavyweight round moonshine jug is great for liquors and it can help add that pop of flare you are looking for.

You can take it a step further by turning it into a beautiful center piece by adding a floral arrangement and etching a special message into the glass.

This jug features a molded handle with a narrow neck, helping to create a classic look.

The compatible cork stoppers offer a secure seal, preserving the moonshine flavors. Additionally, the cork stoppers are synthetic so they don’t leak and hold up well. For a vintage look, add these clear glass moonshine jugs to your liquor bottles line.

The Packaging For You 750 ml Moonshine Jug Glass Bottle is a great jug for your whiskey, liqueurs, as well as homemade moonshine. 

Thousand Oaks Barrel ‘Whiskey’ Engraved Moonshine Jug 


moonshine jug




  • Hand blown glass 
  • Holds up to 750 ml of liquid 
  • Engraved jug 
  • Finger-hook handle 

Accent your backwoods cabin and country-western décor with the Thousand Oaks Barrel ‘Whiskey’ Engraved Moonshine Jug.

Glazed and painted in caramel on top and beige on the bottom, this finger-hook liquor jug makes an excellent vase.

Featuring a wide-mouth opening, this jug is a well-constructed and well-finished to hold your favorite beverages and other liquids. The cork stopper is very durable, so it holds well against multiple uses.

The Thousand Oaks Barrel ‘Whiskey’ Engraved Moonshine Jug is made with lead-free glazes, making these moonshine jugs dishwasher, oven, and microwave safe.

Add a bit of humor to your theme party or lodge with this traditional style ceramic jug with a finger-hook handle. 


 copper whiskey moonshine still