Tim Smith is not your average moonshiner. He is a third-generation distiller who has been making his own brand of illegal liquor since he was a kid. He is also a volunteer fire chief in Climax, Virginia, where he lives with his wife and son. He is a rebel, a risk-taker, and a legend in the moonshine world. He is the star of the hit TV show Moonshiners, where he showcases his skills and his struggles with the law. But Tim Smith has a dream: to make his moonshine legal and share it with the world. That’s why he created Climax Spirits, a line of products that includes his original recipe, a cinnamon spice flavor, and a bourbon-style whiskey. Tim Smith is not just a moonshiner but also a master craftsman, a visionary, and a pioneer.
Tim Smith is a man who knows how to make a good drink. He is also a man who knows how to make a good deal. The star of Discovery’s hit reality show Moonshiners has been making and selling his own liquor for decades, following a family tradition that goes back three generations. But unlike his ancestors, Tim has managed to turn his illegal moonshine business into a legal empire that earns him a fortune.
Tim Smith’s net worth is estimated to be around $700,000, but that figure could be much higher considering his multiple sources of income. Besides being a popular television personality, Tim is also a volunteer fire chief, a mechanic, and most importantly, the owner of Climax Moonshine, a legal distillery that produces and distributes his signature spirits across several states.
Tim’s journey from outlaw to entrepreneur began in 2013, when he decided to go legit and partner with a Kentucky distillery to make his moonshine legally. He named his brand Climax Moonshine, after the Virginia town where he lives and which is featured on the show. He also paid tribute to his father, who taught him the art of moonshining, by putting his picture on the bottle label.
Tim’s legal business has been growing steadily over the years, and he has expanded his distribution to states like South Carolina, Tennessee, West Virginia, Georgia, and more. He has also been featured on several spin-off shows, such as Moonshiners: Whiskey Business and Moonshiners: Master Distiller, where he helps struggling distillers improve their craft and their profits.
Tim Smith was born on December 23, 1966, in Climax, Virginia, United States. He grew up in his hometown Climax and started school at the age of 5. Tim got help with numbers from his father who would let him count money so that Tim could count by grade 1. Tim’s father is a second-generation Moonshiner who learned the craft of brewing from his father and passed the traits to the new generation. As early as six years of age, Tim would join his father in a pickup truck for Moonshine distribution. His father also would illustrate his old ways of bookkeeping using a small pencil and a diary.
Tim also got to be a rescue hero when the Police came to raid his house in search of illegal liquor and Tim successfully hid moonshine under his bed. As a result, Tim received a pat on his back and 10 dollars from his father. And growing up Tim was heavily exposed to the family craft and learned their traditional way of brewing which is over 100 years old. Also, Tim did not neglect his formal education and attended a local school in Climax, Virginia.
Tim Smith has a diverse career portfolio. He served in U.S. Army for six years including a deployment in the Gulf War. Tim also worked as a maintenance mechanic at a mattress factory. Tim has been volunteering as a firefighter since 2004 and serves as fire chief at Climax Fire Department. Following in his footsteps, his son J.T Smith joined as a volunteer and received the “1st Place Top Call Runner” award in 2017 handed by none other than his chief father.
For a long time, Tim had been helping his father who was good with marketing and connection. However, after his death, Tim had to step up in order to successfully brew and distribute moonshine without the intervention of local authorities. Tim would distill illegal shine in the Backwoods of Virginia accompanied by his dog Camo. He also hired different employees including one who had killed a person and never had a job before. Later, Tim also gave employment to Tickle.
As the television showrunners were looking to make a documentary on-premise, “People making Illegal moonshine in the mountains,” it became an opportunity for Tim Smith. Tim was asked to be part of the show and he accepted the contract proposal joining the show from the very inception.
After years of brewing illegal moonshine, Tim decided to go legal. He obtained a license to produce and distribute the moonshine. In May 2013, Tim officially launched his brand, Climax Moonshine, starting in Georgia, South Carolina, D.C., Maryland, West Virginia, and Tennessee and since has extended to many other places.
Tim rose to fame following his introduction to the television world. He joined the cast of Moonshiner in 2011 during season 1 episode 1 titled “Moonshine Season Starts.” Since he has gone on to make many television appearances. As a regular cast member, Tim has appeared in over 124 episodes until now. In addition to Moonshiners, Tim has been part of several of its spin-offs such as Master Distiller, American Spirit, Whiskey Business, and Shiners on Shine. In 2022, Tim made a guest appearance in an episode of Josh Gate Tonight hosted by Josh Gate.
Wife and kids:
Tim is married to longtime partner Shelby Smith. The couple took the wedding vows in 1986 and has been together ever since. In the years of togetherness as a married couple, the pair gave birth to a son JT Smith. The family lives in Climax, Virginia.
Tim’s wife, Shelby is an active church member and also involves herself in community work. Regarding her professional endeavors, she works in the cafeteria at Gretna Elementary School as a school nutritionist.
Tim’s son JT is in his 20s and has volunteered as a firefighter for Climax Fire Department. In his spare time, he enjoys hunting, fishing, and riding his four-wheeler. JT is currently married to his girlfriend Ashley but the pair is yet to give birth to children.
December 23, 1966
Climax, Virginia, United States
Reality Television actor, Moonshiner, Businessman, Army Veteran, Firefighter
5 feet 8 inches (approx)
Originally published @ April 6, 2018, at 11:11 am Universal time.