2 men charged with making banana moonshine


MIDWAY, Pa. (AP) (AP)ong> - Two men have been charged by police with making banana brandy moonshine in a shed next to one of the men's mobile homes in McDonald.

Authorities charged the men after getting complaints from neighbors that the men were burning items inside the shed owned by 29-year-old Matthew Kirks.

When police investigated Monday, they found an ethanol moonshine distillery made from two beer kegs and copper pipes, and said Kirks and 33-year-old Matthew Zirwas III, of Carnegie, acknowledged making the hooch.

According to police, this type of operation is known to be highly explosive.

Kirks’ wife, Laura Kirks, told Channel 11 reporter Cara Sapida that her husband didn’t want to hurt anyone or sell anything. She told Sapida that he is a hunter and fisherman, and making his own alcohol was a way to save money.

Police said they confiscated a Blackberry phone displaying a web page about "How to make banana brandy moonshine," 11  mason jars of the moonshine, seven Mason jars containing a blend of bananas and yeast, and other related items.

Laura Kirks said the men didn’t know that making moonshine was illegal.

Both men are charged with reckless endangerment, illegally distilling alcohol without a license and other misdemeanor charges.