George Washington’s Distillery® and Gristmill
Visit fully functioning reconstructions of George Washington’s Distillery® and Gristmill, located 2.7 miles from the estate’s main entrance. Come see the mighty gears turning and the stones grinding at our Gristmill. And within our functioning distillery you can see where we make George Washington’s whiskey.
George Washington entered the whiskey business in 1797 – and it was quite the profitable success.
George Washington’s venture into the whiskey business began at the urging of his farm manager, James Anderson. Anderson, who had been involved in the distilling industry in Scotland before immigrating to America in the early 1790s, was convinced that a distilling business would round out Mount Vernon’s complement of economic ventures – and generate substantial profits. Ever the discriminating businessman, Washington proceeded cautiously but allowed Anderson to purchase two stills and set up a small operation in the cooperage next to the gristmill in early 1797. The result was the production of six hundred gallons, sold for a good profit. Encouraged, George Washington agreed to construct a large distillery over the winter of 1797-1798. The new distillery was 75 feet by 30 feet and contained 5 copper pot stills, a boiler, and all required equipment for large-scale whiskey production. In 1799, the year of Washington’s death, the distillery produced nearly 11,000 gallons, making it the largest whiskey distillery in America at the time.
George Washington’s Distillery® and Gristmill hours:
April through October: 10:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
Always call ahead to confirm hours and availability
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