Maryland Distilling Heritage

Ma-RYE-land’s Revival of an All-American Spirit

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Sagamore Spirit Day
Photo By: Sagamore Spirit
Lost Ark Distilling flavors
Photo By: Lost Ark Distilling
Bottle of Lyon Rum on a beach
Bottle of Lyon Rum on a beach
Photo By: Lyon Distilling Company

“Bartender, I’ll take a Maryland Whiskey” was once the call in bars and saloons across America. Everyone wanted Maryland Whiskey—rye whiskey.  

So how did this sweet, smooth whiskey become the darling of the country?

During the Revolutionary War—on top of everything else, the British stopped importing rum—Americans needed a new spirit that matched their new America and American spirit. Rye whiskey was the answer—a spirit totally grown and produced in America. And Maryland rye whiskey was at the center of this new revolution.

Scotch-Irish Marylanders began distilling rye once they arrived in the colony, because they found their homeland preference of barley did not adapt well to the climate. Rye was a plentiful crop in central and western Maryland and once distilled was easy to transport to the quickly expanding country via the National Road, Chesapeake and Ohio Canal, and B&O Railroad.

Maryland Whiskey became famously popular during the Civil War as soldiers from around the country ebbed and flowed across the border state with the tides of the war. After the war, soldiers took Maryland rye whiskey home with them, and the demand boomed.

During the 1920s, Maryland became the “Free State” by refusing to pass legislation enforcing Prohibition. Gin and whiskey were the spirits of the day.  Bootleggers took advantage of the Chesapeake Bay to move their goods and speakeasies were abundant for those in the know.

Today you don’t need a secret handshake to partake of Maryland spirits, just head out to one of Maryland’s distilleries to savor some of the award-winning whiskey, gin, vodka, bourbon, and even moonshine and absinthe. Since 2008 and the rebirth of Maryland distilling, new distilleries have been opening in Maryland at a record rate, reviving old traditions and developing new, unique spirits that reflect the ever-changing landscape of distilling. Each distillery has its own story: from producers focused on locally-grown, farm-to-bottle spirits, to those experimenting with extremely rare ingredients and exotic recipes.

Come taste the deepest roots of American distilling and be a part of history through Maryland’s RYE-vival. Please remember to drink responsibly. Stay safe and make the most of your spirited adventure with a hotel stay.

Share your Maryland spirits adventure using #MDspirits #SavorMaryland

Featured Places
Whiskey Barrel
01
Location:
1700 W. 41st Street
Baltimore, MD 21211
Blackwater Distilling logo
02
Location:
184 Log Canoe Cir
Stevensville, MD 21666
Blue Dyer Distilling Co. logo
03
Location:
52 Industrial Park Dr #15
Waldorf, MD 20602
Dragon Distillery
04
Location:
1341 Hughes Ford Rd, Ste 108
Frederick, MD 21701
Grapes
05
Location:
3026 Whiteford Rd
Pylesville, MD 21132
Gray Wolf Craft Distilling logo
06
Location:
605 S. Talbot St, #6
St. Michaels, MD 21663
Lost Ark Distilling
07
Location:
9570 Berger Rd, Ste L
Columbia, MD 21046
Louthan Distilling logo
08
Location:
3005 Montebello Terrace
Baltimore, MD 21214
Lyon Distilling Company
09
Location:
605 S Talbot St, #6
St. Michaels, MD 21663
McClintock Distilling Co.
10
Location:
35 S. Carroll St
Frederick, MD 21701
MISCellaneous Distillery logo
11
Location:
114 S. Main St, B103
Mount Airy, MD 21771
Old Line Spirit logo
12
Location:
200 S. Janney St.
Baltimore, MD 21224
Patapsco Distilling Company signage
13
Location:
7609 Main St
Sykesville, MD 21784
Sagamore Spirit exterior view
14
Location:
301 E. Cromwell St
Baltimore, MD 21230
Seacrets Spirits logo
15
Location:
111 49th St
Ocean City, MD 21842
Spirits of Patriots logo
16
Location:
11501 Progress Ln
Princess Anne, MD 21853
Springfield Manor Winery & Distillery
17
Location:
11836 Auburn Rd
Thurmont, MD 21788
Tasting Room
18
Location:
55 E. Patrick St
Frederick, MD 21701
Tobacco Barn Distillery logo
19
Location:
24460 Hollywood Rd
Hollywood, MD 20636
Twin Valley Distillers
20
Location:
711 E Gude Dr. Bay D
Rockville, MD 20850
White Tiger Distillery logo
21
Location:
1659 Robin Cir
Forest Hill, MD 21050
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