Booz and Booze

Booz and Booze

  Where does the word “booze” come from?  I’ll begin by telling the truth, but let me tell you a Philadelphia story, too. Let me start by saying that it is an adaption of the middle Dutch word “būsen”, which means “to drink to excess”, into the middle English word “bousen” in the 14th century.  The use of the English word “booze” didn’t appear in writing until the 17th century.  There are other options for the possible origins of the word from Germany, but the Dutch seems the most likely.  Though it is often dismissed, as a Philadelphian, I cannot dismiss the possibility that E.G. Booz had something to do with the term being used more often… Edmund G.Booz was born in 1824 in Bristol, PA in Bucks County.  He was a very successful liquor merchant that...

Manatawny Still Works in Pottstown, PA

Manatawny Still Works in Pottstown, PA

Whiskey distilleries tend to be nostalgic for good reason.  So much of our national history coincides with that of American whiskey production in the United States.  There is a great deal of pride in who did what first and in each distillery’s origin story.  Pennsylvania lost its historic ties to whiskey production in the early 20th century and it wants to reclaim its rightful national status as the birthplace of American whiskey.  (Though Kentucky tends to wear that crown, it truly belongs to Pennsylvania.)  The question is, how does a brand new distillery make a name for themselves in a sea of whiskey nostalgia and half true origin stories?  You embrace the history of your town, your state and respect your local community, that’s how.  Be honest with your...

Rowhouse Spirits in Philadelphia, PA

Rowhouse Spirits in Philadelphia, PA

Tucked away in a corner of East Kensington in Philadelphia is Rowhouse Spirits.  The small brick building that houses the distillery is located right in front of Philadelphia Brewing Company.  You can’t miss it because of the beautiful barrel and distillery mural created by the Mural Arts Society of Philadelphia that wraps around the whole freestanding structure.  The owner, Dean Browne, is one of the friendliest and good natured guys you’ll share a drink with in the city!  The tasting room is small but cozy and he’ll walk you through the space and gladly show off his entire set up if you’re interested in learning more. Rowhouse Spirits became a Philadelphia distillery in 2014, but was dreamed up by Dean Browne long before that.  A combination of things- Dean...

Bluebird Distilling in Phoenixville, PA

Bluebird Distilling in Phoenixville, PA

Bluebird Distilling opened its doors in 2015 in Phoenixville , Pa.  The owner, Jared Adkins, had his work cut out for him refurbishing the old professional laundry warehouse that his new distillery would be located in, but after about a year of renovations, he was ready to get started.  Jared is the type of young athletic go-getter that you’d expect to find biking trails and snowboarding down black diamond slopes.  He’s certainly got the energy to run the distillery, sling drinks as bartender and promote local craft production full time! His choice to set up in Phoenixville was a good one because the town has been undergoing a bit of a transformation over the last decade, and Bluebird Distilling is helping to draw attention to the town. The distillery is sourcing...

County Seat Spirits in Allentown, PA

County Seat Spirits in Allentown, PA

Allentown, Pennsylvania is home to County Seat Spirits.  Anthony Brichta, a native of Allentown, (which is the county seat of Lehigh County) began the business in the autumn of 2014 with his uncle, John Rowe.  One of the things that I respect about this little distillery is its connection to its roots and the history of the surrounding area.  Each spirit they produce is named after a local landmark or, in the case of their wheated bourbon, local history.  County Seat pays homage to the true story of how the Liberty Bell came to stay in Allentown for a brief period of time. In 1777, George Washington suffered defeat to the British and was forced to leave Philadelphia undefended. (He would winter in Valley Forge, which allowed for the 9 month occupation of British...