Montco Rye Whiskey Distillers Making a Comeback in Pennsylvania

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Sazerac Rye Whiskey
Image via Nan Palmero.

For a generation, no rye whiskey came out of Pennsylvania. 

Now, more than 20 Pennsylvania distilleries are producing rye. Laura Fields is driving the resurgence, writes Christopher Wink for billypenn.com.

The 43-year-old Bucks County native has a passion for whiskey and an underlying goal to improve the commercial viability of small-scale American farming.

She founded a nonprofit, the SeedSpark Project, that funds research on heritage grains used in Pennsylvania distilleries.

Rosen rye, a grain recognized for its yield, price, and taste, almost disappeared because whiskey declined in popularity in the late 20th century.

Two years ago, a newly-revived Rosen rye grain mash was distilled and barreled by distiller Dick Stoll.

It was showcased in September at the American Whiskey Convention in Philadelphia. Bulleit, Maker’s Mark, and Jack Daniel’s joined smaller craft distillers from across the country.

Representatives from Pennsylvania’s 44 distilleries were also there, especially two from Montgomery County.

  1. Boardroom Spirits 
  2. Five Saints Distilling 

Fields is pushing rye as the new taste and story from Pennsylvania that will make the state a leader once again in American whiskey.

“You can’t be a Kentucky distiller without a bourbon,” one spirits maker said at the convention. “It could be the same with rye for Pennsylvania distillers.”

Read more at billlypenn.com about the return of rye whiskey to Pennsylvania.

Learn about the history of rye whisky in the United States and the early role that Pennsylvania played.

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