McCormick Distilling Company has a remarkable history that dates back to 1856 when the distillery was first established. It's a journey of innovation, resilience, and dedication to crafting exceptional spirits. This year, we are proud to announce that McCormick Distilling Company was a prominent participant at TFWA 2023, showcasing our enduring commitment to the world of spirits.
A Historic Beginning
The foundation of the distillery was rooted in the choice of an exceptional location. Natural limestone springs ran underground, providing the perfect water source for distillation. Benjamin J. Holladay, the visionary behind the Holladay Distillery, went on to achieve great fame and fortune. He became known as the "Stagecoach King," running stagecoach lines from Missouri to the West Coast, which would later evolve into the Wells Fargo Express. Holladay's entrepreneurial spirit extended to owning saloons, hotels, and silver mines. By 1864, he held the distinction of being the largest individual employer in the United States.
Passing the Torch
In 1860, Benjamin J. Holladay passed the reins of the distillery to his brother, Major David Holladay. Major Holladay continued to operate the distillery until his passing in 1894. The legacy continued as his son-in-law, Thomas Barton, took charge and ensured the distillery thrived. Even during the challenging era of Prohibition in the United States, the company persevered by bottling its previously distilled whisky for medicinal purposes.
A Name Transformation
In 1936, the distillery changed hands once more when it was acquired by Isadore Singer and became the Old Weston Distillery. Singer later acquired the McCormick brand name from a neighboring plant in Waldron, Missouri. In 1942, he renamed the distillery the McCormick Distilling Company. This marked the beginning of a new chapter in the distillery's history.
Stepping into Modern Times
In 1950, the company was purchased by Cloud Cray of Midwest Grain Products. The legacy of McCormick Distilling Company continued to evolve, adapt, and thrive under new ownership. The distillery's enduring commitment to quality and craftsmanship remained steadfast throughout the years.
A Visionary Revival
In 1992, business partners Ed Pechar and Mike Griesser acquired McCormick Distilling Company. Under their leadership, the company experienced remarkable growth, expanding from 35 employees in 1992 to 186 employees in 2006. Although Mike Griesser passed away in November 2004, the vision he and Ed Pechar shared for the distillery continued to drive its success.
A Legacy Lives On
As of 2020, McCormick Distilling remains a privately held corporation. It is owned by company chairman Ed Pechar, the estate of Mike Griesser, and a small group of employee partners who comprise the board of directors. This structure reflects the enduring commitment to quality, tradition, and innovation that defines McCormick Distilling Company.
TFWA 2023: A Celebration of Excellence
This year's participation at TFWA 2023 is a testament to McCormick Distilling Company's enduring legacy. It's a celebration of our commitment to crafting exceptional spirits, rooted in a history that spans over a century. We look forward to sharing our passion for excellence with the world for years to come.
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