A pilgrimage to Michter’s distilleryFebruary 5th, 2010
I was born in Lebanon County, Pennsylvania, home of the Michter’s Distillery and Michter’s whiskey (which has most recently been sold under the A. H. Hirsch label). I remember buying and enjoying Michter’s whiskey for many years, while the distillery was open.
The distillery closed its doors for good on February 14th, 1990, and there’s an effort underway to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the closing of the distillery by offering tours (and more) this coming February 14th. The former Master Distiller and plant manager will even be in attendance.
I’ll be on vacation, sadly, and can’t make it. For those of you who live in (or near) Pennsylvania and would like to attend, here are the details that I have on the event as provided to me by Malt Advocate magazine’s Copy Editor (and bourbon enthusiast) Sam Komlenic. Sam will be there representing Malt Advocate.
They’re billing it as a “Toast to Michter’s.” The current owner is collaborating with Ethan Smith (the driving force behind the event), and they will offer two tours, at 10 and 1. Former plant manager and master distiller Dick Stoll will be in attendance, along with his wife Elaine, who was a tour guide. Dick is the man who locked the doors at the close of business on February 14, 1990. They are anticipating other former employees and perhaps some industry notables.
The accessible buildings have no heat, and it remains an abandoned site, so appropriate dress for winter industrial archaeology is recommended. They are encouraging folks to bring along any Michter’s memorabilia to display. More here:
The distillery proper is amazingly intact. Since it was abandoned by an amorphous “holding company,” the principals of which were never identified, it was never scrapped out. Ethan has posted some photos here:
For more information, contact Ethan directly (firstname.lastname@example.org).
IMPORTANT UPDATE: As Ethan in @10 mentions below, this event has been cancelled due to the massive snow storms PA got this past week. I’ll keep you posted on the new date.