From Bomb Tech to Distiller


Mike Girard 

As distiller and owner of 3 Hundred days of Shine,  I'm passionate about two things, my family and creating something of such quality that makes people happy.  I haven't always been a distiller, however.  In fact, I spent the  better half of my life in the Army. Twenty-two years 8 months to be exact; 14 of those years in Explosive Ordnance Disposal or just EOD. Those of you who don't know what EOD is, these are a special group of military men and woman responsible for disarming and disposing of unexploded military ordnance or for lack of a better word, bombs. Now I know you are thinking "this doesn't have a  thing to do with booze, liquor, or moonshine" but bear with me and you'll get the connection. Since we were kicking Al Qaeda and Taliban tail  on two fronts and destroying all their explosive weapons, our country's enemies got smart and began fighting back using homemade explosives made from everyday household chemicals.  Many of which produced substances that were very unstable and some that were just plain stupid to handle. As you could imagine this pissed us EOD operators off since these popular Home Made Explosives(HME), were causing more and more injuries to our brothers in arms.

Up to this point the only training we had on HME was "look out for white powder and DO NOT TOUCH IT". Here I was a member of the most elite fighting force in the world, and I was being treated as if I were half as intelligent as our home-trained enemies. But finally a few of my EOD brothers got together to create a school  to "make our Soldiers smarter than our enemy."  At that time, in my 15 year Military  career, I had been to more training courses and schools than I could count but this one actually trained me how to make these dangerous explosives thus understanding what we could and more importantly, what we couldn't do to them. I guess you can say I became obsessed with learning all I could about the science of HME production. The chemistry of making explosives sparked my interest in the science of making alcohol. How yeast interacts with  different sugars to create different tastes and then how to extract the result of that interaction and call it your own as well as the history of moonshine and its virtually  unknown western origins.

Today, I'm still creating chemical reactions and handling delicate processes, not of the kind that go boom, but that which results in a delicious style of moonshine long forgotten and I'm ecstatic to share with you all.

Best part of all this, I sucked at chemistry, science, and history in high school.

3 Hundred Days