Great American Saloons & Spirits

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My Blue Ribbon Father: An Addendum


Dear Aram, Thank you humbly. In further answer to your kind letter noting that my father was a beer drinker, as revealed in my Father’s Day Essay… In 1944, when my father was a U.S. Navy LTJG, Pabst Blue Ribbon had a contest for the best essay on how to keep the U.S. from sliding […]

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Somebody, Anybody, Run Against Bill de Blasio


Bill de Blasio is a left-wing buffoon of dizzying idiocy. The dimbulb mayor of New York City is so bad that he makes David Dinkins look Churchillian. And yet it appears that de Blasio is sailing towards re-election in November. The question — “Is that jackass really going to win re-election?” — is asked often […]

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American Whiskey Trail Tour, Day 5


Don’t get me wrong — Jack Daniel’s is a very impressive company. Its sales growth over the past 40 years is mind-boggling. During the 1970 and 1980s, most American whiskeys saw their sales drop. They laid off workers and cut back on capital upgrades. But not company the Jasper Newton Daniel started 150 years ago. […]

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American Whiskey Trail Tour, Day 4


Thirty years ago, most whiskey distilleries were lonely places — industrial factories in remote rural areas. For the most part, the proprietors of these places saw themselves as manufacturers, the first tier in the three-tier system. They made whiskey, which was then trucked away. Customers were far removed. Some, but not many, folks might drop […]

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American Whiskey Trail Tour, Day 3


It was difficult to feel anything but awe standing in front of the still at Jim Beam’s main distillery. It is six-stories tall, and 200 gallons of beer pour into the still each minute. The still pours forth 30 gallons a minute of 135 proof white dog — the water-clear liquid that gets watered down […]

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American Whiskey Trail Tour, Day 2


We all have heard the story: manufacturing is dying in America. All the good blue collar jobs are moving to Mexico and China. America’s middle-class employment has been hollowed out — the few get lucrative white collar jobs, and pretty much everyone else is stuck doing low-pay hourly work. There is some truth to this […]

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American Whiskey Trail Tour, Day 1


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. […]

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Why ‘Moonshine’? Kevin Kosar Explains


The American Spectator’s Great American Saloons & Spirits columnist Kevin Kosar just published a book about Moonshine for the Edible Series. For spirits aficionados, history buffs, cooks, and fans of great writing, it’s a must buy. In fact, this book should be on everyone’s Father’s Day gift list. You can buy it here. Kevin’s book […]

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America’s Gonzo Drinks History


Steven Grasse’s Colonial Spirits (Abrams Image, 2016) is the wackiest drinks book I have ever read. (I state this with admiration, and a bit of jealousy.) And I’ve read more than my share, and written a couple. It starts with the 19th-century-like subtitle that is solong that it might need drop-quoted: “A toast to our drunken history […]

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The Keystone State’s Drinks Laws Are Improving — A Bit


The alcohol-policy landscape in Pennsylvania was static — almost glacial — for most of the past 40 years. However, these days, the glaciers are melting and the landscape is shifting. New laws and interpretations are coming every few months. The evolution in our drinks law is welcome and overdue. But in the short term, it […]

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