Michter’s Distillery in
Schaefferstown, Pennsylvania was the foster home of A.H. Hirsch
Reserve bourbon. Dating back to the mid-eighteenth century,
Michter’s was distilling whiskey. As early as 1753 there was a small
distillery on this Pennsylvania farmstead; that’s long before
Kentucky was even settled. Thirty years later the farm’s owner
decided to concentrate on whiskey production, which makes it one of
the oldest commercial distilleries in the country. The distillery
stayed in the family for years until Abe Bomberger, a relative by
marriage, bought it in 1860, gave the distillery its primary
name—his—and distilled rye there until Prohibition closed him down.
During prohibition, the plant was sold to a local farmer, who may
have fired up the old stills every so often just to keep his
neighbors happy. Louis Forman took it over in 1942, but he left
abruptly to serve in the Army, not returning until 1950. It was then
that he discovered records from Abe Bomberger’s time of ownership,
and Forman began researching the history of the distillery and the
methods once used to produce the whiskey. He decided to install a
pot still, and hired Charles Everett Beam as master distiller. Mr.
Beam—a direct descendant of Jacob Beam himself—was delighted at the
opportunity to make great bourbon—the kind he had never been allowed
to make because it was deemed too expensive; Mr. Forman, on the
other hand, was committed to craft good whiskey, regardless of the
cost. Hence, Michter’s Pot Still Whisky hit the market. It was 1956.