The Cost of Prohibition for Pennsylvania

The Cost of Prohibition for Pennsylvania

While it is slowly becoming common knowledge that Pennsylvania is the birthplace of American whiskey, I’m often asked, ”Why is Pennsylvania only now showing signs of distilling life again?” The truth lies in the duration and aftermath of Prohibition. In 1899, there were close to 965 distilleries in the country with about 400 of them located in Pa. By 1914, that number had been reduced to 434, and by Prohibition, there were only 27-33 left. (ref.- http://www.bottlebooks.com/american%20medicinal%20spirits%20company/american_medicinal_spirits_compa.htm) Consolidation and the shuttering of so many distilleries left the distilling industry on the brink of collapse. The reality was that the political will and capital that remained in support of distilling would begin...

Whiskey Production Finally Rebounds to Pre-Prohibition Numbers…

It may seem like an enormous amount of whiskey is being produced in the United States right now. That may be true, but we’re only just catching up to production levels before that great, failed experiment of Prohibition. In 1911, about 105 million gallons (400 million liters) of whiskey were produced. The highest level of whiskey production was reached in the 1951 at about 212 million gallons. It will take a lot more whiskey to reach that amount again! At the end of Prohibition, there were only about one million gallons of aged whiskey stocks in storage warehouses. The American public was consuming about 100 million gallons a year of spirits! Most whiskey producers could not afford to return to the market, so the few companies that were financially viable in the...

Poor Old Crow…When Will You Get Your Due?

Poor Old Crow…When Will You Get Your Due?

Poor Old Crow…when will you get your due? Old Crow bourbon long ago fell to the bottom shelf. It uses the same mash bill and yeast as Jim Beam, but is only aged for 3 years and not as much interest is put into its taste profile. Old Crow Reserve gets a bit more love by being aged for 4 years and is bottled at 86 proof instead of the industry standard 80 that Old Crow is brought down to. This historic American whiskey is named after James Crow, the Steve Jobs of bourbon! Dr. James C. Crow (chemist/physician- with a medical degree from Edinburgh University) was originally from Inverness, in Scotland. He first moved to Philadelphia and then down to Woodford County, Kentucky in the 1820’s. He began working on new methods for distillation while working for...