The Farm at Still Hollow Spirits – Harman, West Virginia

Farm in mountains with cows and shop

Harman, WV

In the heart of the Allegheny Mountains of West Virginia, Still Hollow Spirits stands as a testament to tradition, sustainability, and the resilience of the local moonshining culture. Athey Lutz, the distiller and owner, has not only crafted fine spirits but also embraced renewable energy through the REAP grant program.

The journey of Still Hollow Spirits begins with a commitment to providing customers with unique and sustainable spirits while supporting the local agricultural economy. Athey Lutz, a fifth-generation West Virginian, emphasized the importance of environmental sustainability, rooted in the area’s traditional moonshine culture.

Athey’s vision came to life with the installation of a 10,000-kilowatt solar system on the distillery building, funded through the REAP grant program. His background in environmental consulting and grant writing prepared him for the application process, and despite some challenges related to government contracts, he found the experience worthwhile.

“The Rural Energy For America Program (REAP) is a great opportunity for businesses and farms all across West Virginia to save money, install reliable and local clean energy, and create energy freedom. Still Hollow Spirits is a shining example of how to utilize the REAP program,” said Cory Chase, Solar United Neighbors, West Virginia Program Associate.

Despite the pandemic, Still Hollow Spirits has thrived, contributing to the area’s growing tourism industry. Athey shared the involvement of his family in the business, creating a true family endeavor that resonates with the spirit of West Virginia.

The distillery’s commitment to sustainability extends beyond energy initiatives. Still Hollow Spirits uses local green heirloom corn seed to make bourbon and employs a sustainable on-farm system. This includes an herb garden and a unique practice of feeding leftover grain to cattle, creating a perfect nutrient cycle.

As Athey explains, “You kind of feel like you’re going into the backwoods to get the moonshine,” and that’s precisely the atmosphere he aimed to create. The distillery combines agriculture, tourism, and moonshine, celebrating West Virginia’s rich heritage. Athey and his team take pride in their West Virginia-centric approach, utilizing ingredients from Job Farm and incorporating local flavors like ginseng, cranberries, elderberries, mint, black walnuts, chaga, and more into their spirits.

Celebrating history and sustainability, Still Hollow Spirits invites visitors on a journey to explore the West Virginia countryside. From the traditional whiskeys rooted in centuries-old practices to limited production offerings infused with seasonal crops, the distillery promises an experience that is as authentic as it is invigorating.

“If you enjoy a beautiful drive and seeing the West Virginia countryside, it’s a good excuse to take a drive and see one of the prettier parts of the state,” says Athey. “And if you’re interested in hearing about the process of making whiskey and seeing firsthand and asking questions, that would be another reason to come down.”

Still Hollow Spirits, located at 128 Stink Run Road, Harman, invites you to embrace the spirit of West Virginia through a sip of their unique and sustainable moonshine. Visit Still Hollow Spirits for more information and to plan your visit.

Solar United Neighbors (SUN)’s Ready, Set, Solar! REAP! is a 10-week program that helps walk farmers and rural small business owners through the REAP application process. SUN is dedicated to helping anyone who’s overwhelmed by the prospect of going solar with real life examples, credible information, and personalized experience.

Farmers and rural small businesses can learn more and apply for REAP through their state Rural Development office.