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View Full Version : Attention Michter's Fans....



ethangsmith
01-22-2010, 11:12
Coming up on Valentines Day (Feb, 14th 2010) is the 20th anniversary of Michter's closing its doors in Schaefferstown. The owner of the distillery and I are planning on doing a "Toast to Michter's" that day and possibly giving a tour, and, if we are really lucky, have master distiller Dick Stoll there. Again, this is all up in the air and I am just gauging interest. If we can get it all together, we plan on making it an event! Let me know if you are interested and I will keep you all up to date if there is enough interest and we get it all together!

unclebunk
01-22-2010, 11:14
Sure wish you weren't so far away. That would be great fun!

SMOWK
01-22-2010, 21:56
I can quite possibly make it. I'm down on delmarva. Where do I sign up?

BBQ+Bourbon
01-22-2010, 22:03
WOW! That is really cool! I wish I could make it because that would be a truly amazing opportunity. Unfortunately you are 1700 miles away. Wow!

ethangsmith
01-23-2010, 05:34
Right now this thread is to gauge interest and see how many people would be able to make it to the distillery that day. By replying to the thread saying you can come lets me know your interest. All updates will also be through this thread. Keep in mind that this is still in the planning stages and will only happen if we get enough people that can come. So even if you're not a Michter's fan but are interested in history or really neat abandoned stuff, come along for the day!

tmckenzie
01-23-2010, 06:58
I have been planning on getting down there, this may be the right time. Have you talked to Dick yet?

SMOWK
01-23-2010, 08:37
The lady and I will make a Valentine's mini-vacation out of it. I think she would have a great time touring an old distillery on Valentine's day. I've got a keeper.

ethangsmith
01-23-2010, 14:07
I have been planning on getting down there, this may be the right time. Have you talked to Dick yet?

I have what I think is his contact info and passed it along to the owner of the distillery. He knew Dick many years ago and said he is going to call him. Again, this is all in the planning stages so nothing is concrete yet. But so far the response has been very positive so I hope to at least do a tour.

Ruby K
01-24-2010, 12:24
Definitely interested and may have a friend or two interested as well. Plus my lady and i don't put too much stock in the hallmark holidays so i might be able to....

ethangsmith
01-24-2010, 17:37
Ok, just spoke to the owner of Michter's and at this point, we are on for the 14th! He is willing to give at least 1 tour (his health isn't great so walking around a lot isn't easy all the time for him) of the safe parts of the distillery. So, that all being said, what time would work best for all of you that want to come? I was thinking later morning, like 10AM or something. That way it's not as cold, but it still gives ample time for a tour and then time to spend with your significant others the rest of the day.

SMOWK
01-24-2010, 20:07
My girl and I are seriously planning to make it a weekend trip. Where is everyone staying?

ethangsmith
01-24-2010, 20:10
For those of you that are going to be staying over night on Saturday, Lebanon PA is close by and has several hotels. As for an address for Michter's to use in your car nav. system, you'll have to use the intersection of Michters Rd and Distillery Rd because the distillery does not have an address.

SMOWK
01-24-2010, 21:06
We are planning on coming into town Friday and leaving Sunday night. Anyone going to be around Saturday night to get together for dinner? Any recommendations from anyone local?

BourbonJoe
01-24-2010, 21:22
I would love to get together with y'all and even invite y'all to have some drinks in my bunker, but the 14th is the day after the wife and I go on our cruise. At any other time we might have been able to fit this in. Sorry we can't make it but I hope all that show up have a good time.
Joe :usflag:

SMOWK
01-24-2010, 21:25
Anyone willing to make a few trades while we're there? I have never tasted a drop of anything from the Schaeferstown distillery. I've got a few Pappy 20s, as well as numerous others in the same realm.

ethangsmith
01-25-2010, 07:42
I have a small amount of Michter's I drained out of a decanter. I'll bring it along. It's awesome stuff. There is nothing else like it.

PAspirit1
01-25-2010, 09:38
What is the town and zip code?

ethangsmith
01-25-2010, 10:57
It is near Schaefferstown, PA, however, it has a Newmanstown ZIP code of 17073.

ethangsmith
01-26-2010, 13:59
An update- at this point all systems are "GO" and the response has been VERY positive. Thanks to a fellow member, I have gotten in contact with Dick Stoll and his wife Elaine. They both plan on attending the event. For those of you that don't know, Mr. Stoll was plant manager and later master distiller and Mrs. Stoll was a tour guide. Several others have volunteered to bring personal items to display. Stay tuned for more updates!

B1bomber
01-26-2010, 20:19
Wow, what a concept. I've wanted to visit there for a long time but always imagined doing so in the summer months so as to make it a destination on my bike. Hmmm.... Gotta say, this is darn tempting. Wish it weren't Valentine's Day-- I'm pretty sure my wife's dream of the perfect Valentine's day doesn't include me heading off to visit a former distillery. That said, I'd love to attend. Is there a cutoff date, or deadline, for when one can sign up?

PAspirit1
01-27-2010, 06:23
It's looking like I might be able to go.

ethangsmith
01-27-2010, 06:42
At this point I have no cut-off date.

However, one thing that EVERYONE attending MUST be aware of:
Michter's is an abandoned industrial site. There is plenty of rust, protruding objects, uneven flooring and ground, low-hanging objects, and some unstable buildings (the tour will not be going into any unsafe or unstable areas!). That being said, you will be at your own risk during these tours and open-toed shoes, sandals, or crocs will not be allowed. Also, it will probably be very cold so wearing your "dirty" pants and heavy jacket/coat would probably be a good idea as well as there is no heat, water, or electric in all the buildings but one (and that one only has lighting.).

ethangsmith
01-27-2010, 09:43
As a side note, for those of you that are going to be getting there with your nav system, use this address:

215 Michters Road
Newmanstown,PA 17073

SMOWK
01-27-2010, 10:14
I just booked my room at the Quality Inn Lebanon Valley. Employee rates are a beautiful thing. I'll be there Friday-Sunday. If anyone would like to get together for dinner, or some bourbon drinking, let me know. I will have a few bottles on hand.

Also, if anyone is familiar with the area, please post some tips on things to do. One thing I know is a must, is getting some Lebanon Bologna. MMMMMMMMMMMM.

ethangsmith
01-27-2010, 11:27
Indeed. Get your bologna! Lititz has Wilbur Chocolate, Hershey has a few different things (the amusement park isn't open). Harrisburg has the state museum. Lancaster has all the PA Dutch stuff.

furious
01-27-2010, 13:26
This is a great idea and I will look into possibly attending as I live in Annapolis, MD. Michters is a great whiskey and I remember it fondly as a regular staple in my father's liquor cabinet.

ethangsmith
01-27-2010, 13:37
What's going to work best for everyone for the get-together and tour- morning or early afternoon???

SMOWK
01-27-2010, 14:11
What's going to work best for everyone for the get-together and tour- morning or early afternoon???

I would much rather do it early afternoon. I'm not much of an early person, and my girl and I might end up at a bar until quite late Saturday night...

ethangsmith
01-28-2010, 12:53
Ok, I've heard back from several people and the afternoon looks like it's going to be optimal. Also, it's going to be warmer. I'm thinking a 1PM tour time. Any thoughts?

Stormking
01-28-2010, 21:49
I am too close to not hop on this opportunity. You can count me in and I will be looking forward to seeing a bit of PA pride and history. 1 in the afternoon seems fine to me but I am open to any time.

SMOWK
01-28-2010, 21:57
1PM sounds great. I plan on having a bottle or two with me. Anyone up for any trades?

ethangsmith
01-29-2010, 07:20
Good news. To accommodate everyone's needs due to travel times, we will be doing 2 tours. At this point, the tour times will be 10am and 1pm. We are going to try to at least get heat in the still house so if people want to stick around and talk there will be a warm place to do it.

ethangsmith
01-30-2010, 17:18
Also, I've recently come into a few large collections of Michter's decanters that are full. I am going to be selling my empties. I'm not sure which ones I will have yet. Would anyone be interested in me bringing them down on the 14th? They will be priced very reasonably!

SMOWK
01-31-2010, 15:01
Also, I've recently come into a few large collections of Michter's decanters that are full. I am going to be selling my empties. I'm not sure which ones I will have yet. Would anyone be interested in me bringing them down on the 14th? They will be priced very reasonably!

I am highly interested! As are others I would imagine.

Any full ones for sale?

ethangsmith
01-31-2010, 15:42
I'm not sure if I will have any full ones for sale. I will warn you, if I do have full ones, I would not buy it based on the fact that you intend on popping it open and drinking it. MOST of the Michter's decanters will have spoiled whiskey in them. I had a few with damaged corks out of the first collection I acquired and had to pour most of it away since it was so oxidized and nasty. I only got 2 good quarts out of 7. So if I bring full ones, please just buy them for their value of not being opened and not for what is inside- because it could be some gross stuff! Tomorrow I am having 34 more Michter's decanters dropped off at my house so I'll have to go through them and see what all I end up with.

loose proton
01-31-2010, 16:00
...MOST of the Michter's decanters will have spoiled whiskey in them. I had a few with damaged corks out of the first collection ...
which brings this up again, if you consider long term storage of cork top bottles. By long term, I mean more than ten years for unopened bottle and a year or three for opened bottle.
http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/showthread.php?t=13041

ethangsmith
01-31-2010, 16:51
Agreed, which is why I posted my little disclaimer since really no one did this back in the day so finding good whiskey in a Michter's decanter is a REAL find! When I do start pouring and get a reasonably clear batch, I strain it through a paper towel to remove cork bits and any other nasties.

SMOWK
02-07-2010, 13:20
Here's to hoping a blizzard doesn't ruin things.

Cheers!

ethangsmith
02-07-2010, 14:16
WE JUST HAD ONE.

Some friends of mine, my wife and I went up and shoveled out the distillery and later this week we are going to plow it out with a loader so there will be ample parking. At this point it's looking like the weather will be cold (15 degrees in the morning and) and only reach about 30 degrees so bundle up!

SMOWK
02-07-2010, 22:39
WE JUST HAD ONE.

Some friends of mine, my wife and I went up and shoveled out the distillery and later this week we are going to plow it out with a loader so there will be ample parking. At this point it's looking like the weather will be cold (15 degrees in the morning and) and only reach about 30 degrees so bundle up!

I can't wait. I can't wait. Was that long enough?

ethangsmith
02-11-2010, 07:25
Attention Michter's fans that will be attending-

We have just been hit with 2 massive record-breaking snow storms and now have about 30" of snow on the ground. We are doing our best to remove snow from walks and creating an area for parking. A broken snow plow is also hindering our efforts now. So when Sunday arrives, please bear with us as we are trying to get as much cleared off as we can for all of you! Just be prepared for there to be substantial snow around the area.

ethangsmith
02-11-2010, 08:20
Just spoke with the owner and he said his plow will not be able to be repaired in time, the heater is broken and there are 8 FOOT snow drifts around the distillery and the township can't get the road open. The event for the 14th is CANCELLED. Please be sure to cancel any hotel reservations. We are going to try again later this spring.

I apologize for the inconvenience this causes, but it is not safe for us to have it. The snow load on the buildings is unsafe as well.


Thanks for your support,

Ethan.

ethangsmith
03-25-2010, 17:58
A lot of people have been contacting me recently asking when the tours will be. My answer at this point is "I'm not sure." The owner is in the hospital for major surgery and will not be back home until late April. At that time, we will start planning when the tours will be. The owner's son has been taking care of the place since the owner is in the hospital and he is doing some work on the interiors of the buildings to make them a little safer and cleaner for tours. STAY TUNED FOR MORE INFO IN MID TO LATE APRIL!!!

SMOWK
03-25-2010, 21:48
Thanks for the update! I shall eagerly anticipate attending.

ethangsmith
05-10-2010, 19:12
The owner of Michter's Distillery was in the hospital longer than anticipated but is now at home resting. He will have a few weeks of recuperation, but as soon as he is able, we will start planning the Michter's tours! It's a good thing we didn't do the tours back on Valentine's Day. Our fears of a roof collapse turned out to be true. The 4 feet of snow proved too much for Warehouse D's roof and it fell in the weekend the tours were planned! Stay tuned for more updates!

SMOWK
05-11-2010, 07:24
Thanks for the update. I was just telling a good friend of mine yesterday how I was hoping that this tour would continue in the near future.

Madhatter57
05-11-2010, 10:10
This would make a great Father's Day outing!

ethangsmith
05-25-2010, 15:29
Guys and gals, I have bad news. Due to the snow storm damage to the buildings, the owner's insurance agent said he would not allow tours due to liability. The snow did significant structural damage to several buildings and they are now unsafe to be inside or near. There is also now renewed pressure from the local government to have the site torn down because more has collapsed. I am VERY sorry about this, but our hands are tied right now. If anything changes, I will let you all know but at this time, tours can't be done safely.

B1bomber
05-25-2010, 18:31
Thanks for the update, Ethan. What a bummer, I was very much hoping to attend.

Any chance attendees could sign a waiver upon arriving, waiving all rights should any accident harm occur? Just thinkin' aloud.

ethangsmith
05-26-2010, 15:45
I've had a few questions about signing waivers. I'll have to have some discussion with the owner and see where he stands. He hasn't been down to the distillery much yet since his surgery but from what he has seen, he doesn't feel confident with interior tours at this point. 36" of snow sitting on old leaky rotted roofs did some serious damage to some of the buildings. Others will have to be checked thoroughly for damage. I'll keep posting on here as I know more info.


To change the tone of this thread a little and make it more positive, do any of you have Michter's stuff (decanters, paperwork, barware, etc.) in your collections???

B1bomber
05-27-2010, 07:14
Thanks, Ethan. I recall once back in my college days signing a waiver before sky-diving, relieving the airport of any responsibility in the event of accident or (yikes!) death. Maybe there's a solution with waivers here-- I'd happily sign one to get a peak inside that place.

I have half a mind to ride out Schaefferstown anyway, just to view the place before it's gone for good. Can I person enter the premises at all, just to walk around the perimeter, or is it entirely fenced off?

ethangsmith
05-27-2010, 15:38
The site is open but trespassing is not permitted. The neighbors watch and call the police if they see anyone lurking around. Contact me privately if you want to walk around at the site before you do.

B1bomber
05-31-2010, 22:06
Thanks, Ethan. Noted.

silverfish
06-05-2010, 06:09
John Hansell's June 4, 2010 Guest Blog by Sam Komlenic (http://www.whatdoesjohnknow.com/2010/06/04/guest-blog-sam-komlenic-on-the-legendary-michters-distillery/)
may interest Michter's fans.

B1bomber
06-06-2010, 12:06
That there blog is indeed a great read. Thanks for suggesting it, Silverfish.