'Moonshiners' Personality Arrested

An Alabama man known for making moonshine on Discovery's Moonshiners: Master Distiller and other reality TV series has been arrested. Johnny Wayne Griffis, who appeared on the hit show back in 2020, was arrested the night of Monday, Sept. 12 for allegedly operating an illegal moonshine still.

According to court records obtained by the Tri-City Ledger, Griffis was taken into police custody by agents with the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency on Sept. 12 after he was found operating a moonshine still, which was in the process of cooking, when authorities arrived at his property with a search warrant. In addition to the operating still, officers found 19 quarts of flavored moonshine and 5 gallons of clear moonshine. ALEA officers arrested Griffis, who was transported to the detention center in Brewton and charged with possession of a still and possession of prohibited beverages.

Griffis is best known for his appearance on Moonshiners: Master Distiller. The Discovery series first premiered in March 2020 and follows top amateur distillers as they compete to make the best spirit, the type of which changes weekly and includes moonshine, whiskey, rum, gin, brandy, mezcal and, more. Throughout the competition, the distillers must construct stills of their own design and turn raw local ingredients into authentic, handcrafted spirits. The show features Mark Ramsey, Eric Manes, Jeremy Schwartz, and Tim Smith as judges. Due to the show bordering on illegal activity, the series films in Gatlinburg, Tennessee, known to be the hub for many major distilleries.

Griffis appeared on the show in 2020 before going on to land another show, Alabama Shine. That series premiered on The Country Network in August of this year and showcased Griffis in Flomaton and a moonshiner in Carbon Hill, Alabama. According to authorities, per WEAR, Griffis discussed evading law enforcement during the moonshine distillation process on the series.


Upon his arrest, Griffis was taken to the Escambia County Detention Center. He was released on $3,000 bond on Tuesday, Sept. 13. Per Alabama Code, if Griffis is convicted on his charges, he could face one to five years in prison. At this time, further information regarding Griffis' case is not available.