R Street's Kevin Kosar is touring the American Whiskey Trail, and filing dispatches for The American Spectator's Great American Saloon Series along the way. His first update was from George Washington's famous Mount Vernon distillery:
Where better to start a tour of the American Whiskey Trail than at Mount Vernon? George Washington often has been called the father of our grand nation — the prototype of this new man, the American.
Appropriately, he owned a distillery that made whiskey. Washington got into the business at the end of his presidency. In 1797, he gave the thumbs-up to Scotsman James Anderson to build a distillery at his beloved Virginia home to produce high-quality hooch.
And what a distilling operation it was. The mill powdered grain with millstones imported from Europe and wooden machinery that marvels the eye today. The distillery was 75 feet long by 30 feet wide, with five stills. Within a couple of years, George’s booze barn was belching 10,500 gallons of rye whiskey and other spirits, and it was profitable...
Read the whole thing: http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/american-whiskey-trail-tour-day-one/