Mark Rogers is an American reality television star, most popular from appearing in the Discovery Channel’s television show, “Moonshiners”. He’s one of the show’s most famous faces, appearing in 10 seasons of the show to date. So, where has this popular reality star been recently and what he been up to? Follow along to find out what happened to Mark Rogers from “Moonshiners”.
- 1 Who is Mark Rogers?
- 2 His partnership with Digger Manes
- 3 Hobbies
- 4 Mark’s relationship history
- 5 How much is he worth?
Who is Mark Rogers?
Mark Rogers is a native of the sleepy town of Newport, Tennessee USA, born in the mid-1970s, and comes from a large family. Not much information is available on his early years, educational background or family history, however, it’s known that Mark was raised by his extended family of 12 uncles, who were moonshiners. Spending so much time around them, he eventually developed an avid interest in the craft, making his first moonshine at age eight. Over time, Mark turned this avid interest into a lifelong passion, inventing exciting flavors through his one of a kind brewing skills, producing mind blowing moonshine. He trained under Popcorn Sutton as a still builder, steadily gaining more experience.
The Show— “Moonshiners”
“Moonshiners” is an American documentary-drama television show on Discovery Channel and produced by Magilla Entertainment. It is focused in the areas of South Carolina, North Carolina, Tennessee, Kentucky, Virginia and the Appalachian Mountains. It revolves around the lives of illegal moonshine producers in those areas, dramatizing their efforts and apparent law breaking and evading tactics. The television show premiere was on 6th December 2011, and to date has 11 aired seasons. The series is scheduled to release its 12th season on 9th November 2022.
More about the show
The series follows the lives of 12 individuals, each distilling and producing their own version of liquor in the aforementioned areas. The cast include famous moonshiners such as Popcorn Sutton, Jim Tom, Steven Ray and Mark Rogers himself. A major aspect of the show is the efforts that these men put into evading the law, since the activities of distilling moonshine, homebrew, white whiskey and mash liquor is illegal in those states. Viewers get a thrill out of seeing the cast constantly evading police and the law during their ‘illegal’ activities. Despite the dramatization of their efforts, local authorities say that the portrayal is not what it seems to be. Authorities in Virginia have claimed that there is no illegal moonshining actually going on, and have sent notices to the show’s producers to place a disclaimer in the show regarding this, but have been ignored. Either way, viewers of the show seem to be enjoying this portrayal, evident in the increasing viewing numbers and the lengthy airing of the show which is almost in its 12th season. The show has a large viewing in 150 countries, and to date has aired an impressive 237 episodes!
How did his appearance come about?
Mark Rogers was approached by the production team during the show’s third season. Accepting the offer, he began distilling and producing moonshine for the cameras, making his face well-known to viewers.
His partnership with Digger Manes
Eric Manes is one half of the incredible duo who are the main cast members of “Moonshiners”. The duo is well known by viewers for their work together on screen, and their friendship. Without further ado, let’s find out more about the duo and how their partnership began.
Who is Eric Manes?
Eric ‘Digger’ Manes was born sometime in 1974, in Newport; not much is known of his early years, family history and educational background, except that his father was the owner of the only local funeral home, and as a result Eric spent a lot of time helping around. Growing up, he was fascinated by his father’s work, and after embalming for years, he became a licensed embalmer. Around the same time, he became enticed by local moonshiners, wishing to have the same occupation. He was heavily discouraged by his father, since he was under age and the activity wasn’t legal, however, Eric noticed how kind and respectful the moonshiners were to the townspeople.
Prayers for the family of Barry Brady! We lost a great man and brother! We will miss you Shady!
He eagerly awaited his 18th birthday to finally venture into the world of moonshining, and that’s what eventually became his career. He spent his days as an embalmer at his father’s funeral home, and was a moonshiner by night, quite an interesting double career! A young Eric looked up to Popcorn Sutton —a legendary moonshiner and bootlegger— to teach him the ways of the trade, and over time, became an expert in his own right. Unfortunately, Popcorn Sutton committed suicide in early 2019 after being faced with a number of charges in relation to his countless offences in bootlegging and moonshining.
How did Mark and Eric’s partnership come about?
The two have been best friends for over 30 years, having grown-up in Newport, and had a shared interest in the ways of local moonshiners. Coincidentally, they both worked under the legendary Popcorn Sutton, and gained a lot of experience in the field. The late legend played a pivotal role in their partnership, and convinced Eric to join the cast of “Moonshiners”. Mark tried convincing his best friend to join him on the show, but Eric initially refused, being uncomfortable with the idea. He was finally convinced when he was told that the fourth season would be the last one since it would then be cancelled. Eric recalls, ‘I thought the show was done for, so I said, ‘If you want to do it, I’ll do it this last season because it’s about dead’. The assurances they gave him were forgotten when the show picked up more viewers, and so was renewed for more seasons. The duo turned out to be a hit with the audience, who viewed their relationship as that of a married couple, constant bickering but with lots of love for each other. His best friend became a cast mate, and eventually a business partner, someone who shared his passion and enthusiasm for the craft of moonshining.
Other television appearances
Mark has made other television appearances over the years. In which he got to showcase his other skills. In 2018, he starred in the special, “Mark Rogers: The Will to Survive” alongside his cousin Chuck. Labelled the ‘last American mountain man and Appalachian moonshiner’, Mark spent time in the wilderness equipped with little to no other resources, except the clothes he was wearing and an extra sharp knife. He aspired to teach his cousin a crash course in the craft of moonshine production in the Appalachian mountains.
He appeared in another Discovery Channel television show, “Master Distiller” alongside his best friend and partner, Eric Manes. The pair were part of the panel judging the aspiring distillers in the competition.
His legal moonshining business
Mark was presented with the opportunity to take his love of producing moonshine and turn it into a legal business. His lifelong dedication to the process earned him a partnership with Sugarland’s Distillery to make his very own, ‘Mark Rogers’ American Peach Moonshine’. It boasts to be the first 70 proof liquor produced at the Gatlinburg distillery, and the second moonshine in Sugarland’s Legend Series. The award-winning business—based in the Great Smoky Mountains— produces various drinks such as whiskey, cream liquor, rum and moonshine. Their website boasts this one-of-a-kind moonshine from the legend, and can even be purchased online.
No matter the time of year Mark Rogers American Peach is the perfect shine to sip! Click here https://t.co/B2M4WHmmTX to find a jar near you. #sugarlandsshine #moonshine #moonshiners pic.twitter.com/sNoariElGe
— SugarlandsDistilling (@SugarlandsShine) November 20, 2019
Partnerships with other moonshiners
Mark joined his co-star, Steven Ray Tickle at the Sugarland’s Shine Legend Series, just the second and third moonshiners to join the legendary series; they released their original moonshine, ‘Mark Roger’s American Peach’ and ‘Tickle’s Dynamite Cinnamon Moonshine’, respectively. Proud of the production, Mark said, ‘In the words of our mentor Popcorn Sutton, ‘this is some of the finest liquors that’s ever been,’. Now it’s our pleasure to share it with the rest of the world. We’re really humbled that folks are eager to try it! ‘.
The pair visited stores in South Carolina, Fort Mill and Columbia with their moonshine; fans got to meet the legends, take photos with them and get autographs, and take jars of the product home with them, signed by both television stars.
Mark then partnered with Eric Manes to produce a unique spirit called Hazelnut Rum, which contains a range of ingredients including vanilla, cinnamon, honey as well as real hazelnuts. Sugarland Distilling Company added the blend to their well-known series, followed by Digger Manes and Mark Ramsey’s Apple Rye Brandy.
Evidently, this legendary moonshiner is a man of many talents. Aside from his work as a moonshiner, Mark has a few hobbies that he keeps up when he’s not on television. Stay tuned for more.
Although it is unclear where Mark learned these carpentry skills, he’s shown them off plenty of times during the show, usually constructing wood structures that simplify his tasks during moonshining. In one particular episode, Mark and his partner Digger needed to make some troughs to cleverly reroute spring water. They planned to take the water from above and pass it through open pipes straight into their barrels; it would help them with the mash and distilling of their one-of-a-kind moonshine. Mark used gravity and the strategic placing of the pipes to get the water right where they needed it, calling this some ’redneck engineering’.
Mark puts his survival skills to work as a hunting guide. In his 30-plus years of making moonshine, Mark has spent so much time in the outdoors that he’s a skilled survivalist, able to live off the land with his hunting skills, as well as his fishing experience, what a lucky guy!
What is Eric Manes up to?
When the moonshiner isn’t inventing new flavors or filming, he spends his time in his hometown of Newport, where in 2018, he opened a store called The Back Alley Grainery, where he sells winemaking supplies and beer, amongst other things. Since the distilling business is at the moment still illegal in the state of Tennessee, he instead teaches classes on the crafts of wine and beer making. His wife owns a boutique called Fruit Jar Alley, specializing in clothing, both stores situated in their sleepy town.
Mark’s relationship history
After learning about Mark’s background, career, partnerships and what he’s been up to over the years, let’s dive into another aspect of his personal life: his relationship history.
Does Mark Rogers have a wife?
Unfortunately, the lack of enough information on this expert Moonshiner has made his relationship history unknown to the public. He hasn’t been linked to anyone romantically, nor has there been any rumors concerning him and another individual. Unlike his co-star, Eric ‘Digger’ Manes, he doesn’t wear a wedding ring, indicating that he isn’t married. In one of the episodes, Mark was feet crushing the mash to be used in the moonshine, and complained of the lack of women, recalling that in the past women were the ones doing the task. It is unclear whether he lamented the lack of women in the Appalachian mountains or in his life. Based on the above information, it’s fair to assume that he isn’t married, but we cannot determine whether or not he is seeing someone.
Where can you find Mark Rogers?
Mark Rogers still lives in Newport, although he spends a fair amount of time in the Appalachian mountains during his moonshining activities. According to his IMDB page, Mark ‘… has lived off the earth his entire life, surviving in today’s world by hunting, fishing, and distilling hard liquor’ – what a description! Aside from his television appearances, he keeps his home life fairly private and out of the spotlight. He barely has a presence on social medias such as Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, however, he shares an Instagram and Facebook page with best friend and business partner, Eric Manes.
How much is he worth?
The multi-talented Mark Rogers has many sources of his income, his starring role in “Moonshiners” being the main source. Reportedly, Mark earns around $5000 for each episode he appears in; to date, he’s been in the main cast in 237 episodes and counting, earning him an impressive sum of money; funnily enough, he does what he does for a living on camera, and gets paid for it! Plus he earns from other ongoing television and public appearances too.
Another source of his earnings is his partnership with distilleries that sell his original flavors of moonshine, and which also pay him for endorsements. According to authoritative sources, the legendary moonshiner is worth over $300,000 as of 2022. Evidently, this figure is very likely to increase in the near future as Mark continues his moonshining activities, and makes more television appearances.