My career as a moonshiner in Red Dead Online is off to an interesting start. After spending an eye-watering 25 gold bars on a moonshiner's shack, collecting some moonshining gear and rescuing a long-winded French mixologist to serve as my booze chef, I'm off to make my first delivery. I guess it's a smart move, having a Klingon cloaking device on my moonshine wagon. You can't tax what you can't see, you rotten Feds!
The Wonder Woman-esque glitch that has rendered my wagon and horses completely invisible does, however, make driving a bit tricky, and with moonshine deliveries every sideswiped tree and rolled-over boulder smashes a bit more of my precious boozy cargo. Just a few clicks down the delivery route and I've already destroyed nearly a quarter of my delicious 'shine. Even if the Feds can't see my cart, they'll surely be able to smell it coming.
Moonshiner is the newest role added to Red Dead Online. Like I said, the entry price is pretty steep, but I'm thrilled with where my shack got placed. I picked the Grizzlies region for my operation, and my new shack appeared next to Cattail Pond, just north of Wallace Station—useful for quickly collecting mail-ordered supplies and the unending flood of correspondence Rockstar mails me after every single minor accomplishment—and just west of the busy little town of Valentine. It feels like a great spot.
Once I've acquired moonshining gear (by murdering some other moonshiners) and collecting a kidnapped chef (by murdering some more moonshiners) I can start production on my own hooch, which takes both cash and time. I pay my cook to create a batch of moonshine, and during the half-hour it takes to brew I run around looking for flavors to add to it, which nets it a higher price with the right customer. Flavoring requires different ingredients: canned or fresh fruit, which can be mail-ordered or purchased at the grocers, and various herbs which need to be found and plucked. Get ready to ride around slowly, triggering your magic cowboy vision and leaping off your horse to collect the one wintergreen berry you need but instead finding the 500th instance of Indian tobacco or common bullrush.
Is there any kind of moonshine that requires oregano? Pizza-flavored moonshine, perhaps? I sorely hope so because the field my shack is in is covered in oregano. The actual stuff I need seems much harder to come by, but 30 minutes of searching is usually enough time to find the flavors I'm looking for. Also, this being the Grizzlies, I can usually squeeze in a few bear or wolf maulings.
My first delivery run, though, is just to deliver basic, unflavored moonshine, good for getting drunk or fueling up a Boeing 767 twin-engine airliner. After some tax men on the route begin shooting at me, my wagon—helpfully—becomes visible again, and I complete my delivery safely to a strange, ruined shack in the woods. Turns out my first customer is Red Dead Redemption 2's mysterious serial killer, who I was never able to find as Arthur Morgan but who is brash enough to order an entire wagon of moonshine from my Online character. Well, you can't be too picky about your customers when you're starting a new business, I guess.
In between deliveries, my office manager Maggie sends me out on various violent missions, mostly to murder federal tax men—partly because they interfere with our operation by setting up roadblocks and partly because one of them, Reid Hixon (excellent bad guy name), once locked Maggie in a burning building. It's always good when you can combine personal vengeance with business. Solo moonshiners, take note: some of these missions are made for teams, as I discovered when I attacked some tax men and wound up facing what felt like the entire federal government. Sorry, Maggie, I'll try that one again with friends sometime.
There are also missions to sabotage rival moonshiners by blowing up or poisoning their stills, which can sometimes net you new recipes, such as my Berry Cobbler Moonshine, which frankly sounds disgusting. Either eat a pie or get drunk, cowboy. Don't do both at the same time. There are a number of upgrades for your shack I haven't been able to afford yet, too, such as a legit bar where you can serve your own hooch to customers.
Point is, there's lots of stuff to do while you're waiting for your next batch of moonshine to brew, which makes this a pretty darn enjoyable role for Red Dead Online. I didn't do much as a trader, and I found being a collector boring, but being a moonshiner might be the job I was looking for. As long as there are thirsty serial killers out there, I'll keep bringing them booze.