Stoll & Wolfe

There are many new distilleries popping up in Pennsylvania, but none carry the Pennsylvanian distillery torch quite like Stoll and Wolfe. You see the name Stoll and Wolfe, which is named after founders of the brand, Dick Stoll and Erik Wolfe, was originally named Bomberger’s as a tribute to the old Bomberger’s Distillery (known to most as Michter’s). They planned to reopen the distillery in Lititz, PA where Mr. Dick Stoll was distiller in the 70’s. Mr. Stoll is now famous for being the man behind the famous A.H.Hirsch Reserve 16 year old bourbon that every collector longs to own. The attempt to resurrect the Bomberger’s brand was not to be, however. Michter’s brand name was already owned by Chatham Imports in Kentucky. A lawsuit kept the brand name in limbo for a couple years and 30,000 dollars later, Bomberger’s would become Stoll and Wolfe instead. This may seem like a great loss for Pennsylvania, but in my humble opinion, there is a great deal to be said about a fresh start for Heritage Spirits and Stoll & Wolfe whiskeys. The owners themselves have commented on how they are looking to future and not dwelling on the past. That being said, let’s take a moment to discuss that past…

Michter’s Distillery was the last remaining Pennsylvanian distillery to survive the crushing blow dealt to the state’s whiskey production by Prohibition. It limped along during the 70’s selling bulk whiskey and beautiful decanters to the collector’s market, but finally went bankrupt in 1989. It’s no wonder that Stoll & Wolfe wanted to recreate that distillery’s legacy. At the time of its closing, it may have been the oldest distillery in the United States. Its history dates back to 1753 when Swiss Mennonite farmers began distilling on the site near Schaefferstown, Pa. Around 1860, a man named Abraham Bomberger purchased the distillery and ran it until Prohibition. In 1942, the distillery was sold to Louis Forman, who, with the help of C.Everett Beam (yes, those Beams), named their new whiskey Michter’s Original Sour Mash. The name Michter’s was a combination of Mr. Forman’s two sons names, Michael and Peter- hence “Mich- ter’s”. Not bad, huh? The distillery contract distilled whiskey right up through the middle of the 20th century when Dick Stoll came into the picture as distiller.

“Names Change. Traditions Endure.” Pennsylvania is not the same distilling state it once was. That may be troubling to a state so tied to its own history, but change is a good thing. Stoll and Wolfe whiskeys are sourced whiskeys now, but as of this month are being crafted in Lancaster County from scratch. Their future looks bright and their successes are exciting for all Pennsylvania whiskey fans. The entrepreneurial Erik Wolfe, his wife Arianna, and Mr. Dick Stoll are busy creating a new legacy. Let’s wish them all the best! Cheers!