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  1. #1
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    Michter\'s Stills

    Does anyone know who now owns the two wonderful old 2,000 gallon copper pot stills that used to be at Michter's Distillery in PA?

    Linn S.

  2. #2
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    Re: Michter\'s Stills

    Where in the world is Charles Evertt Beam? I've been informed by Lew Bryson that Charles Everett Beam was the last master distiller at Michter's. Does any one know if he is dead or alive? If alive (and I pray that he is) can you get in touch whith him?

    He would know the true condition of the Michter's stills, and wether or not they are still viable devices. He may know if the still still reside in the Michter's stillhouse or if they have been sold and removed which I have every reason to believe is the case. If the foregoing is true then he may know who has them. Any and all help in this matter will be truely appriciated.

    Which leads us to the next question. IF the stills are still in the stillhouse and they are viable devices THEN who wants to own a piece of a very historic distillery?

    The 'SAVE MICHTER'S FOUNDATION' has officially been proposed right here and right now. Now's who's with me?

    Linn S.

  3. #3
    Bourbonian of the Year 2002 and Guru
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    Re: Michter\'s Stills

    I don't know if Charles Evertt Beam is Charlie Beam. Charlie was the distiller at Yellowstone and later at Four Roses. He may have done time at Michters as well. If I were looking for anyone named Beam, I would start with Bardstown, Kentucky, information. You might also go to Switchboard.com and look there.

    --Chuck Cowdery

  4. #4
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    Re: Michter\'s Stills

    Thanks Chuck! I'll give it a go and see what I can come up with.

    Linn S.

  5. #5
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    Re: Michter\'s Stills

    Linn, I'm afraid the original production copper pot still(s) of Michter's have joined their numerous brethren in Pennsylvania and Kentucky and are now doing something else for a living. My peculiar sense of poetic justice causes me to hope that they're now serving as copper plumbing in the new Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board general offices. Or maybe it should be the Department of Figuring Out Whatever Happened to Some of Our Prime Sources of State Commerce and Pride?

    One interesting thing I learned recently from Sam Cecil's fine book, "<u>The Evolution of the Bourbon Whiskey Industry in Kentucky</u>"...(quoting from page 33)

    "David Beam, son of Carl, was employed at James B. Beam RD #230 until he retired in 1996. He grew up on the premises and was a distiller there for nearly thirty-seven years. He now owns and operates the General Nelson Best Western Motel in Bardstown. Since the whiskey business was so ingrained in him (we call it a "blood disease") he decided to pursue it further.

    The Michter Distillery in Schaefferstown, Pennsylvania had gone into receivership, and the equipment was sold. Tom Sherman of Vendome Copper in Louisville had constructed a new pot still and allied equipment for them as a miniature type operation. It was designed for a ten bushel capacity, or one barrel a day. This equipment included the mash tub, fermenters, condensers, and everything necessary for a complete distillery. David was able to purchase this distillery and move it to his premises next door to the motel and is preparing to put it in operation. The only thing lacking at present is a boiler plant and registration, and he is ready to go."


    Now, before you get your hopes up too much, I should point out that there are many buldings throughout Kentucky filled with distilling equipment "ready to go". They just ain't going anywhere. I can think of several people who have serious money invested in "restorable" distilleries (Cecil Withrow, Charles Medley, and Evan Kulsvein come to mind, and of course David Beam) but the logistics of actually putting one back into production are truly daunting. Thank God for Owsley Brown and company (Brown-Forman) for pouring so much faith and money into Labrot & Graham.

    -John Lipman-
    http://w3.one.net/~jeffelle/whiskey

  6. #6
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    Re: Michter\'s Stills

    John:

    > Now, before you get your hopes up too much, I should point out that there are
    > many buldings throughout Kentucky filled with distilling equipment "ready to
    > go". They just ain't going anywhere. I can think of several people who have
    > serious money invested in "restorable" distilleries (Cecil Withrow, Charles
    > Medley, and Evan Kulsvein come to mind, and of course David Beam) but the
    > logistics of actually putting one back into production are truly daunting.

    I was under the impression than Evan actually did fire up the old Willett machinery in '97, but only to make grain alcohol and not bourbon. Is this not true or has he shut it down again since?

    Stotz


  7. #7
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    Re: Michter\'s Stills

    Thank you John for your efforts. It is as I had feared the stills are simply gone. It is a great sadness.

    On the bright side David Beam has a miniature copper pot still of a barrel a day! I'd sure like to have that recipe machine!

    Linn S.

  8. #8
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    Re: Michter\'s Stills

    Stotz, Evan is right at the top of our list of folks we really, REALLY want to spend some time visiting on our next serious foray into the bourbon world. Nothing would thrill me more than to be able to confirm that the Willett still is in current use for SOMETHING.

    -John Lipman-
    http://w3.one.net/~jeffelle/whiskey

  9. #9
    Bourbonian of the Year 2002 and Guru
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    Re: Michter\'s Stills

    I don't know about the stills being fired up in 97, but I do know that the last time they were used regularly, in the 1980s, it was to make GNS, so they would have to be reconfigured to be able to make bourbon. He may have fired them up to see if they still worked, period, before going to the trouble of bourbonizing them.

    --Chuck Cowdery

  10. #10
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    Re: Michter\'s Stills

    That's what I had heard, so I suspect it's true. Apparently Evan's been hell-bent on distilling bourbon there again, so hopefully three years has been enough for him to convert them back to bourbon-capable stills. I for one would love to have a reliable source of Willett whiskey again.

    Stotz


 

 

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