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Moonshine: Karen Binder

Kentucky Historical Society

Welcome to Southern Illinois Wonders!  Today we look at the history moonshining in southern Illinois with a visit to a local distillery.  

From prohibition to backyard-brewing our region is steeped in the tradition.  Karen Binder is a journalist, historian, and founder of Grand River Spirits in Carbondale. 

Credit Grand River Spirits

She takes us through the history of 'Red eye' in this edition of Southern Illinois Wonders.

Credit Sean Hersch / sensiblereason.com
Karen Binder, owner of Grand River Spirits in Carbondale

Karen Binder is a fifth-generation resident of Jackson County.  Besides exploring southern Illinois as a native, she’s also traveled the region’s roads as an agricultural and business journalist with the Southern Illinoisan, the executive director of the Illinois Grape & Wine Resources Council, and, currently, a local – and legal – craft spirits distiller.

Southern Illinois Wonders is produced in collaboration with the Illinois Humanities council – a non-profit organization that fosters cultural vitality in communities throughout the state. More information is on line at www.prairie .org.

Theme music for Southern Illinois Wonders is provided by Robert Bowlin.

Jeff Williams is the Associate Director for Radio and Station Manager for WSIU Radio. Jeff is a native of southern Illinois and has been in broadcasting for 30 years. After graduating with a degree in Radio-Television from Southern Illinois University Carbondale, he worked in radio and television news in Illinois, Indiana, West Virginia and Washington, D.C. before returning to WSIU Radio in 1997, as Morning Edition anchor/reporter. Jeff served as News Director from 2001 to 2015. He assumed Station Manager duties in 2004. WSIU is operated by Southern Illinois University Carbondale. It signed on the air in September 1958.
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