Alabama Man Arrested For Running Illegal Winery Out Of A Sewage Treatment Plant

A man taking a selfie

Ok, I know I’ve said that all wine tastes like shit, but this might be taking it a little bit too far.

A 62-year old Rainsville, Alabama man was arrested last week for running an illegal winery out of a sewage treatment plant where he worked. According to the DeKalb County Sheriff’s Office, they received an anonymous tip about a “possible illegal alcohol operation” at the Rainsville Wastewater Treatment Plant.

When they went to investigate, deputies found around 200 gallons of wine, fruit, large glass containers, bottling equipment, bottles and labels. Everything you need to make the finest vintage to ever come out of a sewage plant, I guess.

The employee, Allen Maurice Stiefel, told police that he had been making wine in the plant for about two years to give away to friends and family. I wonder if they knew where that wine they got for Christmas was coming from?

Stiefel was one of only four employees at the plant, and has now been suspended without pay. He was also charged with unlawful possession of an illegally manufactured alcoholic beverage and use of official position for personal gain. He’s since been released on $20,000 bond.

Now, I just really hope that he was using the already-treated water to make this wine. But come on, is there anybody in the south who hasn’t made their own alcohol at one point or another? A little homemade muscadine wine never hurt anybody…as long as it’s not made from sewage water.

A row of colorful cans

A beer bottle on a dock



A beer bottle on a dock