Revolutionary Rye in Schaefferstown, Pennsylvania
Originally known as Shenk's and later as Bomberger's, the whiskey company that eventually came to be known as Michter's was founded by John Shenk, a Swiss Mennonite farmer, in Schaefferstown, Pennsylvania in 1753. At his In the early days, Shenk's produced whiskey from rye grains, advocating the local harvest in the Pennsylvania Blue Mountain Valley where the distillery was located.
According to Pennsylvania History, commemorated by the Lebanon Valley Coin Club in 1978, this rye whiskey was so popular that when the War of Independence broke out in 1775, General George Washington visited the distillery. He then bought whiskey there to fortify his men as they languished in their camp during a long, harsh winter in Valley Forge. More than 200 years later, the team of the distillery recalls that Michter's is "the whiskey that warmed the American revolution".
In the mid-1800s, the Dutchman from Pennsylvania Abraham Bomberger bought the distillery that was then called Bomberger's for many decades.
Twentieth century crises: from ban to bankruptcy
The passage of Prohibition in 1919 forced the distillery to close its doors to the public. Although reopened after the repeal of Prohibition, it changed hands several times over the following decades while frequently remaining in dire financial straits.
During the 1950s, Lou Forman, one of the owners of the distillery at the time, created the modern brand name Michter's by combining parts of the names of his sons - Michael and Peter.
In 1989, when the entire American whiskey industry suffered from a downturn in consumption, Michter's owners declared bankruptcy and abandoned the premises, leaving operations in Pennsylvania in disrepair and Michter's name lost in the history.
Restoring a Legend: Honoring Michter's Legacy with a Resurgence in Kentucky.
In the 1990s, Joseph J. Magliocco and his consultant and mentor Richard "Dick" Newman teamed up to resuscitate Michter's. Magliocco, was familiar with the Michter's brand through his college days where he was a consumer, bartender and whiskey seller.
Newman, meanwhile, had continued his service in the United States Marine Corps before an illustrious career in the whiskey business, including leading Old Grand-Dad, Old Crow and Old Taylor for National Distillers before becoming president and CEO. by Austin Nichols, the distillery of Wild Turkey.
Magliocco and Newman started with a simple strategy: to honor Michter's legacy by producing the best whiskey possible. After registering the unused and abandoned Michter's brand, they make their first major strategic decision: to resurrect Michter's in Kentucky, at the heart of the modern American whiskey industry, to ensure access to the best talent and resources available.
Michter's in modern times: offering the best American whiskey
Today Michter's has three locations in Kentucky - a 78,000 square foot distillery in the Shively section of Louisville, the architecturally significant Fort Nelson Building on Louisville's Museum Row, and 145 acres of farmland in Springfield.
The distillery produces a Bourbon whiskey with a rich and unique character.