Mountain Valley Goes to Washington for the 2023 Smithsonian Folklife Festival


Sure, you know and love Mountain Valley as the beloved brand it is today, but did you know we've had a long and storied 152 year history providing pure, American-sourced spring water to everyone from Calvin Coolidge to Elvis Presley?

Distilling demonstration at Smithsonian Folklife Festival

It's this storied history - and a dedication to excellence - that led the Smithsonian Folklife Festival to come calling on Mountain Valley for this year's festival. As part of their featured region, the Ozarks: Faces and Facets of a Region the festival curators included a functioning distillery display with artisanal moonshiners, including Nick Nichols and Matthew Sloan featured in the video abovewho make moonshine with a one hundred year old recipe and insisted upon using only the best, Mountain Valley Spring Water, as the only premium spring water source widely available from the region.

Master Distiller Nick Nichols

The Smithsonian Folklife Festival honors contemporary living cultural traditions and celebrates those who practice and sustain them. The free Festival takes place for two weeks every summer on the National Mall, overlapping the Fourth of July holiday. It is an educational, research-based presentation that features master artisans and other tradition bearers, and Mountain Valley was honored to be included in this thoughtful and educational display of American history. 

distilling demonstration at Smithsonian Folklife Festival

You might be interested to know this isn't Mountain Valley's first foray into the moonshining legacy of the region. Over the years, our Hot Springs home has attracted some notorious visitors, including the infamous Al Capone. The mobster lived part-time in suite 443 of The Arlington Resort Hotel which housed a secret passage to the Ohio Club, Arkansas’s oldest bar. It’s said Capone would strike moonshine deals at the club, then sneak his illegal booze back to Chicago in bottles labeled “Mountain Valley Water.”

To learn more about the moonshiners and the Smithsonian folklife festival, learn more here:

All photography provided by Smithsonian Folklife Festival. 


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