Monday, December 19, 2011

Pennco days....

As I was going through more of my collection the other day, I came across a sizable chunk of Pennco photos and other items. With all the attention Michter's drew for the 15 or so years it ran, the distillery's former owners got lost in the dust. Pennco owned the distillery from sometime in the mid-1950's (I've seen several different dates) until 1974, when it shut down and Louis Forman bought the distillery with a group of local businessmen. Pennco was not like Michter's. Pennco was an industrial operation, making whiskey under several of it's own names and also producing whiskey under contract for other distillers and bottlers. The world-famous A.H. Hirsch bourbon was distilled under Pennco in the spring of 1974. I also have suspicion that Pennco may have somehow been linked to Continental Distilling in Philadelphia as well. Not only were Pennco's offices in downtown Philadelphia, but Pennco did fill some of its products with Continental whiskey. Michter's, before Louis Forman bought Pennco and gave the brand a permanent home, was also sometimes bottled at Continental's Kinsey bottling house. Yes, Pennco was a very different operation than the tourist operation that Michter's became. No tours, no copper pot stills, no decanters, no mule rides, no colorful history, no merchandise. But there was one thing that was the same- both made some darn fine whiskey. And if you don't believe me, search EBay for bottles of Hirsch bourbon! To give you all a small taste of what Pennco was like, here are a few photos from my collection:

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