It all started on a regular day in 1991 when Jesse decided to read the first volume of Fox Fire written in 1970. In that book there is a chapter about "The Fine Art of Moonshining". It talked about how moonshine was being ruined and described how to properly make it, including how to make a still to distill off the all corn mash. With Jesse being a welder and having experience in carpentry as well, he could build about anything. Returning from the hardware store with some accessories to add to his grandmother's pressure cooker and the proper ingredients for the moonshine recipe, he proceeded to cook and ferment his first mash. When everything was done about a week later, he was impressed with the results, and so were his friends and family. Life moved on for Jesse, but that experience was always in the back of his mind. One day about 17 years later after leaving his biopharmaceutical welding job and working on a R&D team for an alternative fuel company, a sales rep asked him if he had been to a local distillery in that area. That same day Jesse researched them and made an appointment to visit the distillery that weekend. After spending all day at the distillery talking with one of the co-owners, he had got himself a side welding job making a piece to make the still run more efficient. With this one side job it made Jesse realize that the majority of distillery equipment came from overseas, was overpriced, and not the most efficient. With some recommendations from the distillery owner and a few questions run by some co worked in the R&D team, Jesse designed his own style still and supporting distillery equipment. It wasn't long after that when he decided to go on his own and start Trident Stills. His timing couldn't have been better. Just as he was getting into the swing of things, the craft distillery boom began in the US. Since 2011 he has sold over 50 stills and supporting equipment across the USA. He also offered customers hands on training at their site on his equipment. By doing this Jesse also learned the ins and outs of starting a distillery from scratch. He has taken ideas from dozens of distilleries and put them all together to create Mossy Ledge Spirits.
The groundwork at Mossy Ledge Spirits started in the summer of 2016. One year later his custom self-designed building was built by a local contractor to house the distillery and tasting room. He even designed the slope of the roof to hold solar panels and still hold and unload snow. Over that winter Jesse, his wife Kasey, and their amazing friends Devan and Kevin finished the interior of the building. The outside looks like a metal sided garage, but the inside looks like an old barn with wood everywhere. Finally, the tasting room opened in May 2018 with Vodka and Toasted Coconut Cordial. Of course, Mossy Ledge Spirits would have a Trident Still, however, at that time Trident has another order in mid production. It wasn't until September when the still was brought down, hooked up and run the first batch of whiskey, all barley from Bucks Farms/Maine Malt House in Mapleton, ME. Keeping everything as local as possible has been a big deal to Jesse. It was no surprise when Jesse needed maple syrup for his Jester's Best Whiskey that he went to Cider Hill Maple Farm in Exeter, ME and got it from a maple house owned by a guy whom he has known since kindergarten. In just over a year Mossy Ledge Spirits has released 7 cordials, 2 whiskeys, 3 vodkas, gin and dark rum available for bottle sales and are in 64 liquor stores in Maine, as well as, over a dozen bars and restaurants. For a free tasting and a distillery tour led by Jesse, stop into our tasting room at 1097 Lakins Rd, Etna.