Old Line Spirits Established

, 2017 : Old Line Spirits opens in Baltimore in February, 2017 with a focus on making the country’s best American Single Malt Whiskey.

 Sagamore Spirit Distillery Opens in Baltimore

, 2017 : Sagamore Spirit was founded in Baltimore, Maryland in April 2017 with a mission to inspire a global passion for Maryland Rye Whiskey,
Source: Sagamore Spirit


 Maryland Distillers Guild Founded

, 2015 : The distillers of Maryland joined together to form the Maryland Distillers Guild to promote and protect the industry's rich heritage.


 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. 


 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. 


 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


 Whiskey on The Eastern Shore

, 1814 : No doubt about it, whiskey was a vital requirement for American soldiers. This is a letter, located at the Maryland Historical Society, from Sergeant Joseph Frazier to Solomon Lowe, requesting a delivery of whiskey rations to men on guard in Easton, Maryland.
Source: Maryland Historical Society; Special Collections Reading Room MS1846


 New York Advertising Maryland Whiskey

, 1803 : Maryland Whiskey was a distinct product and famous up and down the east coast. This note from the Evening Standard in New York advertises 30 Gallons of Maryland Whiskey for sale.
Source: The Evening Post. (New York, New York) • 05-24-1803


 Whiskey Delivered to Men on Guard in Western Maryland

February, 28 1800 : The Maryland Historical Society houses letters that show how important Whiskey rations were to men on guard. Letters reached commanders letting them know that whiskey was on its way. In this example, William Darke wrote to Captain Joseph Tidball.
Source: Maryland Historical Society


 The Still is Down!

, 1797 : The Shriver Family of Western Maryland was known for distilling whiskey. This letter from the Maryland Historical Society is a note from one brother to another that the family still was down. It would cost $5 to fix.
Source: Maryland Historical Society, Shriver Family Papers


 Whiskey in Ledgers

, 1795 : The Shriver Family ledgers run from the late 1700s to the mid-1800s. They cover all payments and sales of the family business in Western Maryland. Whiskey was always on the docket.
Source: Maryland Historical Society; Shriver Family Ledgers


 The Whiskey Tax

, 1791 : On January 27, 1791, Congress voted in favor of the "Whiskey Tax." The vote was 35-21. Believe it or not, George Washington opposed this tax initially, but local government officials were in favor of it (maybe because they agreed with Alexander Hamilton that whiskey was a luxury!) Washington shared these sentiments with Congress and they passed the bill.
Source: Crom, K. (2013) The Whiskey Tax of 1791, Accounting Historians Journal, Vol. 40, No. 2,


 Jacob Beam Travels the Cumberland Gap

, 1790 : According to family accounts, including Fred Noe III, Jacob Beam and Mary Beam traveled through the Cumberland Gap in Western Maryland toward Kentucky, bringing his distilling equipment on a wagon. Jacob and Mary were two of over 300,000 people to move west from 1775 to 1800. The image above is an oil painting of Daniel Boone, the trailblazing pioneer of the Cumberland Gap.
Source: Daniel Boone Escorting Settlers through the Cumberland Gap (George Caleb Bingham, oil on canvas, 1851–52;


 Frederick Maryland – You need a license!

, 1786 : Six years before Hamilton's famous Whiskey Tax, Frederick, Maryland needed to impose retailer rules! Looks like there were already a fair number of distillers in Western Maryland and the local government needed to monitor expansion.
Source: The Maryland Chronicle or the Universal Advertiser (Frederick, Maryland) • 03-22-1786 • Page [1]


 Annapolis Whiskey

, 1785 : A note from a "Baltimorean" to a Maryland legislator about "The Act for Founding a College on the Western Shore." Two clauses specifically mention whiskey and require that the retailer has a license to sell it.
Source: Maryland Journal. (Baltimore, Maryland) • 08-16-1785 • Page [2]


 The First American Whiskey Tax Was Earlier Than You Think

January, 1756 : The Supply Bill was the first tax on distilled spirits meant to help illeviate English debt. The tax was controversial among colonial legislators and led to the growing spirit in the colonies to split from England.
Source: Maryland State Archives


 Annapolis-Based Club for Imbibing

, 1745 : The Tuesday Club was founded in Annapolis as a place to celebrate its members ability to imbibe, especially with whiskey. It looks to have been disbanded when Alexander Hamilton died in 1756. 
Source: Maryland State Archives


 Port of Baltimore Established

, 1706 : The original Port of Baltimore was established in 1706 in the present day Inner Harbor, a deep water harbor that served as a hub for trade and commerce. Later, it would expand to the Fells Point neighborhood and include Recreation Pier, the the second largest immigration Port to Ellis Island. Many Scottish, Irish, and German immigrants entered the United States via this terminal, bringing with with them their penchant for distilling spirits.
Source: View of Baltimore by William Henry Bartlett, circa 1840.


 Maryland Colony Settled by English

January, 1632 : King Charles I grants land to George Calvert, Lord Baltimore

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