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Sussex distillery’s ‘Moonshiners’ makeover airs Wednesday on Discovery Channel

SUSSEX COUNTY, Va. --  The much-anticipated makeover of the Three Brothers' Distillery in Sussex County will be revealed when "Moonshiners Whiskey Business" airs this Wednesday at 10 p.m. on the Discovery Channel.

"Tim Smith must rescue Three Brothers Distillery, starting at the bottom," reads an episode description. "While his crew transforms a barn into a Prohibition-style speakeasy, Tim applies his backwoods know-how to re-engineer the still, taking the owner's gin to a new level."

The premise behind the show is giving a “makeover for a struggling distillery.”

"Moonshiners Whiskey Business" crew members shoot a final scene at the Three Brothers' Distillery in Sussex County.

"Moonshiners Whiskey Business" crew members shoot a final scene at the Three Brothers' Distillery in Sussex County.

Distillery owner: Taking part in show was 'absolutely a no-brainer'

Three Brothers' Owner Dave Reavis said he was excited when he was contacted by the show's producers about his distillery, which opened in 2017 and is located down a dirt road just across the Prince George County line in Sussex County.

“When an opportunity like this comes knocking at your door, to not grab hold of it with both hands and get as much out of it as you can, it’s absolutely a no-brainer,” Reavis told WTVR CBS 6 senior reporter Wayne Covil when the show wrapped up filming in late January.

Reavis said the distillery features two products: “Our Naval Strength Compound Gin and un-aged corn whiskey.”

Reavis added that he plans to debut an aged rye whiskey in May and that a rum is still in development.

 Dave Reavis

Dave Reavis

Reality show director: 'What we’ve done here will change Dave’s life' 

"Moonshiners Whiskey Business" Director Ron Cornwall said in January that Reavis was “a little off path, he lost his way a little bit and needed some help."

That said, Reavis is hopeful the national TV exposure will open doors for his distillery.

“At the end, hopefully they’re rooting for us as hard as we’re rooting for ourselves and we get a whole new fan base,” Reavis said.

As with any reality TV show, there are big changes, which included transforming a well-worn 19th-century building.

“Now it’s a speak easy right here in Sussex County,” Reavis explained.

Dino Lunsford is a local contractor hired by the show to build a unique bar.

"Moonshiners Whiskey Business" gives Three Brothers' Distillery a makeover.

"Moonshiners Whiskey Business" gives Three Brothers' Distillery a makeover.

“We had a few little tricks and details that we did in there,” Lunsford said.  “And I had some old wood that was perfect for what we did inside.”

With the potential for the distillery to grow and attract a national audience, it is also good news for the Sussex.

“I think it’s wonder to have some positive exposure for our county,” said Otto Wachsmann, who owns a pharmacy in Stoney Creek. “Our county, as you know, is a very rural county and we really need some positive exposure.”

Cornwall is excited about what the episode will do for Reavis' business.

“I have no doubt that what we’ve done here will change Dave’s life," Cornwall said. "I’m sure of that.”

Right now the Tasting Room is open on Saturdays, but Reavis expects that will change once the episode airs.

Eat It, Virginia! with Scott and Robey is a podcast driven by food. We discuss Richmond restaurants and food events, answer your most pressing food-related questions, and share listener-submitted dining suggestions. Email the show here.

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