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Pre Pro Great Western Distillery Peoria, IL

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Unlike the Graham Distillery in Rockford, the site of the Great Western Distillery, not the buildings which are long gone, is still a producer of beverage grade and industrial ethanol by ADM and before that Hiram Walker.


Steve Tarter

Peoria’s distilling past still in evidence


"In 1881, the Great Western Distillery settled on the site. This was an operation that boasted of being the largest distillery in the world in its day."

The Whiskey Trust was centered in Peoria and whiskey baron J.B. Greenhut

owner of the Great Western Distillery was the key player as President of the Whiskey Trust.

A little mob action never hurt:


" Russian businessman Peter A. Demens wrote about their nasty business in Sketches of the North American United States, 1895, "Several weeks ago the Illinois whiskey trust by hired agents dynamited a distillery in Chicago that refused to enter the combine."

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This was the targeted distillery with the intended dynamite bombing:


The Shufeldt Distillery

RD #9, 1 st District

Cook County, IL

(built in 1849)

American Spirits Manufacturing Co was formed after the Trust was broken up and it took over running the distilleries. It was transformed into the US Food Products Corporation during prohibition and emerged repeal as National Distillers Products Corporation.

What a find in this bottle:


1917 bottle of "Old Clarke Bourbon Whiskey" Clark Bros. & Co. of Peoria, IL


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