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Whiskey making in America has had a storied past. Heck, it even had its own war! Well almost, the Pennsylvania farmers and the Colonial Army didn’t come to blows during the Whiskey Rebellion of 1791, but pretty darn close!

You see, whiskey was a staple cash crop long before the Revolution. And during the early years, America’s roads were miserable to non-existent. Farmers often had a difficult time getting their crops to market. So, they often distilled their surplus grains to make whiskey. It didn’t spoil, was relatively easy to transport and often served as a medium of exchange in the cash-poor frontier.

But then the newly formed government thought it might be a good idea to tax that whiskey. After all, that plan worked so well for the English back in Scotland and Ireland. Yea, not really, and just like in Scotland and Ireland whiskey-making went underground, especially in the mountainous regions of Pennsylvania, Kentucky, and Virginia.

Where the Irish made poitín, America’s illicit distillers created “moonshine,” “white lighting,” “mountain dew,” “hooch.” Whatever the name, it was some pretty powerful stuff, and the romantic image of the defiant bootlegger entered Ameican mythology.

But then the legal geniuses in Washington came up with a new “great idea.” And if you think the Temperance Movement was terrible for the Irish distillers, well the ratification of the 18th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution–which banned the manufacture, transportation, and sale of intoxicating liquors, i. e. Prohibition (1920-1933) just about did in the legitimate whiskey-making industry in America. In 1920, there were over 2,000 distilleries in America; thirteen years later, there was a mere handful.

It wasn’t until the recent “craft” revival of the past decade did America’s independent distilleries bounce back. Once again, there are now over 2,000 distilleries in America, and the numbers are increasing exponentially.

But what is American whiskey? A lot of folks would say, “Bourbon, of course.” But the fact is, Bourbon is just one type of American whiskey. The truth is there are many types of American whiskey, not counting blends. There is rye whiskey, rye malt whiskey, malt whiskey, wheat whiskey, Bourbon whiskey, Tennessee whiskey, and good old corn whiskey.

On the 21st we’ll sample five of these:

• Rye Whiskey
• Malt Whiskey
• Tennessee Whiskey
• Bourbon Whiskey
• Corn Whiskey

In addition to the sampling, we’ll have grilled steak, corn on the cob, salad and for dessert, good old American Apple Pie!

Space is limited to 8 whiskey enthusiasts so please reserve a place as soon as possible.

Cheers!