In the Walker's Deluxe thread the discussion turned toward Hiram Walker's distillery in Peoria, IL....out of curiosity I did a little research and found this info on the historical whiskey industry in the region:
"Distilleries and Breweries
Peoria once produced more whisky than any city in history. So great was the revenue from the whiskey tax that Peoria's share of taxes paid to the federal government was larger than any other district in the entire United States. River access, good water, an abundance of corn and barley, and good means of transportation all contributed the unprecedented success of Peoria's alcohol industry.
It all began in 1843 with Andrew Eitle's small brewery just south of where the Bob Michel Bridge is today. Eitle eventually leased the brewery to Frederick Muller, under whom it became known as the Peoria Brewery. Almiran S. Cole launched Peoria's first distillery in 1843. Cole had little knowledge of the liquor business, but brought skilled workman from St. Louis to build his plant. Cole soon sold the company, but returned in 1850 with partners Tobias Bradley, William Moss, and Benjamin Bourland to set up another distillery. From these small beginnings, Peoria evolved into the Whiskey Capital of the World.
By 1832, more roads centered at Peoria than any other downstate city, and soon it became the largest corn-consuming market in the world. During the years of 1837 to 1919 Peoria housed 24 breweries and 73 distilleries.
The last brewery in Peoria is the John S. Rhodell Brewery at 619a Water Street, which has been in existance since 1998."