Meet the Author — John Francis Trump

Thursday, October 19, 2017
Refreshments: 3:30 Program: 4:00 – 5:00 pm
Chapel Hill Public Library, Room B
Free and open to the public

John Francis Trump is managing editor of Carolina Journal.  For more than 30 years, John has worked as a reporter and editor for newspapers — in Pittsburgh, Las Vegas, Alabama and North Carolina.  His new book, Still & Barrel: Craft Spirits in the Old North State, recounts the history of manufacturing whiskey, gin, vodka, and rum in North Carolina.

A long-time fan of whiskey, beer and wine, John’s interest in distilStillandBarrelled spirits was piqued in 2015 when he and his wife embarked on the Kentucky Bourbon Trail.  His interest in whiskey dovetailed into a blog, and in 2016, into the book which includes photos by his wife, Lisa.

Distilling spirits in North Carolina has only been legal for about ten years, although making moonshine has a longer history.  Wilkes County, for example, was once termed the “Moonshine Capital of the World” and was the leading producer of illegal liquor for decades.

There are now nearly 50 distilleries in the state; some of these now respectable craft distillers can trace their roots to the early moonshine tradition.  John Trump’s book takes the reader on a journey across the state telling the stories of some unlikely entrepreneurs and the sometimes extreme legal and regulatory hurdles these pioneers had to overcome.  One reviewer said that reading it “makes you thirsty.”

A Pittsburgh area native, John Trump holds a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism and Communications from Point Park University in Pittsburgh and a Master of Fine Arts in Creative Nonfiction from Goucher College in Baltimore. His newspaper career includes time as executive editor of the Sun Journal in New Bern and Daily Courier in Forest City, North Carolina; group editor for three papers in Rockingham County, North Carolina; night editor for The Fayetteville Observer, which serves Fort Bragg in North Carolina; and assistant city editor at the Las Vegas Sun.

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