This past Saturday was on of those rare days that Chip, Danielle and myself were off on the same day and this time it was warm. In the past posts, we've been hitting Greene County pretty hard , so we decided to go see what Fayette County had to offer. I never knew this distillery even existed less then a year ago.While researching something else, this popped up.We took advantage of the unseasonable warmth and went on over. As we headed into Broad Ford, we caught glimpse first of the grain elevators and stack towering over the rest of the buildings. To our dismay, the large barrel storage ware house I had seen on the Bing maps was no more. We received permission to park in a local guys lot (nice guy), who gave us a brief run down of the property. This site is heavily posted, but we took the risks anyway. Once inside, we were struck w/ a sense of awe on how cool the location was, and just how much of the original wooden equipment was still intact. We should have stayed longer but we had some more locations to hit and it began to rain.We called it a day at the Overholt plant. We shall return soon, as we think there is plenty more to see.
Old Overholt is a long produced American rye whiskey distilled by A. Overholt & Co, currently a subsidiary of Beam Inc., at the Jim Beam distillery in Clermont, Kentucky. Old Overholt was originally distilled in Broad Ford, Pennsylvania, 35 miles southeast of Pittsburgh. It is one of the few straight rye whiskies available at most liquor stores in the United States. The company claims to have been established in 1810, and the bottle states that at 80 proof (40% alcohol), this is a four year aged whiskey. (Thanx wiki!)
We are unsure when this plant became idle, as references on this seem to overlook this. Feel free to jump in and comment if you have any information.
What we do know is that when this plant closed, production moved to Large, PA and Overholt was produced there until 1958 or so, pictures of this follow at the bottom of the post.
A few fun facts about the Old Overholt label. The whiskey is named for Abraham Overholt, a farmer and distiller and later, grandfather of the American Industrialist Henry Clay Frick, and we have researched that this was the rye whiskey of choice of Doc Holliday. Also, the song "American Pie" by Don McLean, the line goes "...and good old boys were drinking whiskey and rye", a reference to rye whiskey....Old Overholt perhaps, distilled locally? Quite possibly!
|View from Bing maps. The red building w/ the poor roof on the left is collapsed and a pile of rubble now.|
In the first building we were greeted by a set of heavily altered stairs that we preceded to climb. We don't recommend this to anyone. We shot a quick, quiet video on the second floor as we returned back downstairs.
A short video introduction.....
As always, click on the pictures to view full size!
|D going up!|
|Adding machines were scattered all about.|
|"Downtown" Chippy G!|
|Note the missing steps.|
Interesting sidebar to this story, for years I've driven north on the "new" toll road 43 to where it terminates in Large , PA right at 51 and I have always seen this:
Apparently, this is the remains of the Large Distillery that was sold to the National Distillery Company, who quit manufacturing the Large brand whiskey and began producing Old Overholt. From what I have read, production stopped at around 1958 here, but unlike the Broad Ford distillery, this ones buildings seem to still be in use, and you can see some of the original buildings have been added on to.