DISCUS

George Washington's Distillery

GeorgeWashingtonDistillery

Exterior of George Washington’s
Distillery. Painting by Ian Gray

InteriorView

Interior view of George Washington's
Distillery. Photo by Shannon Bell

In 1797 George Washington's farm manager, a Scot named James Anderson, convinced his employer that producing whiskey made from corn and rye grown on the plantation would be a natural complement to his milling business. Washington was initially skeptical, but soon granted permission to build the structure.

Washington erected the 2,250 square foot distillery -- making it among the largest whiskey distilleries in early America. In 1799, Washington produced 11,000 gallons of whiskey, worth the then-substantial sum of $7,500. Upon Washington's death in 1799, the complex was passed down to a relative who apparently was not equipped to run it, and he rented it to a local operator. The distillery ceased operating in 1814 when the building burned. Not until 2000 did Mount Vernon begin the excavation and restoration of the distillery with a grant from the distilled spirits industry.

PrinceAndrew

Prince Andrew & then-Attorney General Robert McDonnell (VA) cut the ribbon during the dedication of George Washington’s Distillery on September 27, 2006. Distilled Spirits Council President Peter Cressy (left) and then-DISCUS Chairman and Barton Inc. CEO Andy Berk (right) look on.  Read More

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