Gunning Distillery Established in Allegheny Mountains

January, 1882 : Gunnings Delight was the brand of choice for this distiller! He set up his distillery in his home and after the brand's popularity took off, invested his money into another 1,000 acres for growing crops for distillation.
Source: Allegany College of Maryland Library


 Melvale Distillery Established in Baltimore

January, 1880 : According to Whiskey history buffs, John and Linda Lipman "During the 1880s, John T. Cummings opened the Melvale distillery on Cold Spring Lane in the Jones Falls area north of Baltimore. The distillery was built around an existing stone structure, itself established fifty years earlier, which had been a water-driven sawmill, also used for flour and cotton." You can view more about their research at their website


 M.J. Miller’s & Sons Distillery Established in Western Maryland

January, 1875 : "Melky" Miller and his sons were important to the local economy of one of Maryland's earliest settlements and biggest producers of Rye Whiskey. They bought grain from area farmers and employed locals to transport whiskey to market and work in the bottling house and sawmill. 


 Brown-Forman Established in Kentucky

, 1870 : Brown-Forman, now one of the worlds largest producers of whiskey, was established in Kentucky in 1870 by half brothers, George Garvin Brown and JTS Brown. Old Forester was their premier bourbon.


 Sherwood Distilling Co. Established in Baltimore County

January, 1868 : Two Northern Baltimore grocers - John Wight and William Lentz - started this distillery as a small operation. Soon, Edward Hyatt expanded it, thanks in part to a deal with the U.S. army which wanted Sherwood Pure Rye for medicinal use. 


 Jack Daniels Distillery Established

, 1866 : The Jack Daniels Distillery was established in 1866 as the first registered distillery in the United States. He learned the art of distilling from an enslaved man named Nathan "Nearest" Green. Jack Daniels would later hire Nearest as his Master Distiller.


 Monticello Distilling Co. Established in Baltimore

January, 1865 : This was the preferred rye of Augustus Mencken, father of the famous Baltimore writer H.L. Mencken. According to H.L. Mencken, his father loved whiskey and "regarded this appetizer as necessary to his well-being." 
Source: Maryland State Archives


 44 Distilleries in Maryland

, 1860 : By the mid-1800s, Maryland was home to 44 distilleries, all making whiskey. Maryland sits on a shelf of limestone (just like Kentucky) and most, if not all Maryland distillers set up shop on the banks of rivers to take advantage of this unique water. The map also highlights the importance of railroad lines to whiskey commerce.
Source: Library of Congress

 The Isaac Keefer Distillery Established in Western Maryland

January, 1860 : Issac Keefer chose to put his distillery along Licking Creek, an ancient waterway that originates in the Tuscarora Mountain and flows into the Potomac River.
Source: Western Maryland Historical Society

 Monumental Distillery Established in Baltimore

January, 1860 : Monumental Distillery was established in Highlandtown, Baltimore. Baltimore was known as the "Monumental City" because of its penchant for erecting monuments. 
Source: Maryland Historical Society


 Lanahan & Stewart Distillery Established in Baltimore

February, 28 1855 : William Lanahan started as a rectifier, creating a rye whiskey blend called Hunter Baltimore Rye - with the tagline "First Over the Bars." Hunter's memorable labels featured a top hat-tipping steeplechase rider astride a shiny steed. Does anyone know the mash bill? We'd love to add it.
Source: Maryland State Archives


 Mount Vernon Distillery Established in Baltimore

January, 1850 : Henry Hannis, was an established distiller when he bought the Mount Vernon Distillery from Edwin Clabaugh and George Graff in 1863. He quickly created a distillery set-up so impressive that it became the model for the 1876 Centennial Exposition in Philadelphia. 
Source: Maryland State Archives


 Needwood Distillery

February, 28 1839 : The American Civil War left the Needwood Distillery in ruins, but Outerbridge Horsey - yes that was his name! - rebuilt it. He distinguished himself by aging whiskey at sea and then shipping it back to Maryland by rail. He believed the jostling helped the aging process.
Source: Maryland State Archives

  • What do you know about Whiskey history?

  • When did the event occur?
  • Accepted file types: jpg, png, pdf.
  • Used to credit you on the story
  • By submitting this form you agree to our Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy.