For Immediate Release:
Williamsburg, VA - Williamsburg Distillery is proud to announce the construction of an authentic reproduction 15 gallon 1700’s colonial still has begun. It’s estimated arrival and installation is planned for November 2016, just in time for holiday travels to Colonial Williamsburg for Thanksgiving and Christmas.
Dr. Bill Dodson, reenactor, historian, dentist, engineer and owner of Williamsburg Distillery has been working with master coppersmith Steve Eisenhart of Petersburg Virginia, who’s great-great-great grandfather, Curtis, originally designed the still in 1750. Steve says his ancestor was originally a wheelwright who built stills as a sideline business. In those days, Steve professes, people had to be able to do a little bit of everything themselves just to survive. Chuckling, he says, distilling was a common art practiced in most homes, but for some it was a lifestyle. Following the American Revolution, the federal government had to raise funds to pay their debts and George Washington set about the country during the Whiskey Revolution enforcing the taxation of spirits and shutting down those who were not permitted and did not contribute to the fundraising campaign. Steve’s ancestor was spared shutdown of his distilling operations after repairing flailing wagons on Washington’s quest.
Dodson says “In doing historical research, one never knows what fascinating pieces of personal history are unearthed. It’s a great honor to be able to have a piece of history recreated by an artist of this caliber of talent. A piece created by a direct descendant of the designer. His spirit to keep the history not only alive, but working, is refreshing! Mr. Eisenhart is taking much time out of his schedule to help us recreate a working reenactment of Colonial American distillation methods and equipment. Williamsburg Distillery and I are deeply grateful!”
Dodson quips “Interestingly the George Washington story is even more deeply ironic. Mr. Eisenhart is also building for Williamsburg Distillery a variation of the design used in Mr. Washington’s distillery! It’s wondered if Mr. Washington’s quest to raise funds for the government also served to protect his distilling interests.” Design blueprints for the stills are currently on display at Williamsburg Distillery.
Once complete, Dodson plans to use the stills in historical reenactment. Visitors to the area will be able to touch, see, and smell how spirits were created in revolutionary times. Although Williamsburg Distillery’s colonial bourbon is still aging, their Jamestown Gin and Yorktown Rum are available for Holiday gifting at the distillery and in select Virginia ABC stores. If not immediately available, products can be ordered and delivered to your local store within days.
Williamsburg Distillery is a fully functional micro-distillery in Williamsburg Virginia. The Distillery’s rich tradition, stories and theme recreate methods of spirit distillation on the American period of 1600 to 1776 producing bourbon, gin and rum from period style molasses and the only historical distillery in the world using locally farmed Indian corn, wheat, rye and barley in their bourbon and Genever Gin.
Williamsburg Distillery is part of The Williamsburg Tasting Trail. Their Yorktown Rum has won numerous national, international, and craft awards. Their Jamestown Genever Gin won triple Gold in its first competition. At Williamsburg Distillery, it is our passion to provide an authentic taste of the American colonial and revolutionary times. To learn more about Williamsburg Distillery visit www.Williamsburg-Distillery.com (7218 Merrimac Trail, Williamsburg, Virginia 23185)
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