Iowa Business Owner Competes on Reality TV Show
Marquas Ashworth already made it big when he launched Ziyad Rye, a whiskey distillery using traditional moonshine recipes. But he decided to double down and further stake his claim by putting his distilling skills to the test on a reality TV show.
The 33-year-old Des Moines-based businessman was a contestant on the Discovery Channel reality TV competition Moonshiners: Master Distiller. The episode premiered on November 2nd.
On Local 5 News, Ashworth explained that him and other contestants were tasked with creating moonshine using grains that go back thousands of years. These grains were the same ones utilized by pharaohs and Aztecs were provided during the month-long adventure Ashworth and other contestants embarked on.
About the Episode:
The episode was appropriately called "Prehistoric Shine," and was filmed in the Great Smoky Mountains. Unfortunately, Ashworth did not win the competition, and thus was unable to advance. Judges felt the moonshine he crafted was a touch too spicy.
In the aforementioned interview, Ashworth also explained how he's a "self-taught" distiller. He taught himself how to make spirits in his dorm during college. He said that his new line of moonshine will be available "nationwide" over the next couple of months.
About the Booze:
Ziyad Rye doesn't just make and offer whiskeys, but also moonshine. Ashworth's spirits come in three flavors: Lemon Rush, Watermelon Drip, and Berry Bussin Tea. I'm far more tempted to buy some Berry Bussin Tea than I should be!
The three fruit-flavored moonshines boast a 20% ABV in two different sizes: a large 1.75L and a smaller (pint) sized offering that's 375ml.
Ashworth is African-American, and he added that he's proud to make a name for himself in this space. He knows he's doing well because people like his product and aren't just supporting it as a form of identity politics.
Where You Can See The Episode:
Being able to rub elbows with some of the best moonshiners in the business wasn't a bad consolation prize, however. The episode of Moonshiners: Master Distiller featured Marquas Ashworth premiered on the Discovery Channel and is also streaming on Discovery Plus.
Read more about Ashworth's appearance on the show via the Des Moines Register!