Thank you to Distiller Magazine and David Furer for visiting Stoll & Wolfe last September for Dick Stoll’s return to distilling Rosen Rye Whiskey in Pennsylvania. The project, made possible by Laura Fields Seed Spark Campaign and Greg Roth with Penn State’s Agriculture Department is the result of years of their dedication and hard work.
The Return of Rosen Rye
“Until the 1970s, Rosen was one of the dominant types of rye grown in Pennsylvania, owing in no small part to having been marketed by (Pennsylvania) Michter’s as a preferred distilling grain since the 1950s. It’s taken four years of growing Fields’ Keystone Rosen rye to yield her enough for a distillation run using over 500 pounds of rye for a 1,000-pound mash that included corn and barley, producing about 50 gallons of spirit.”
Production Tours and Guided Whiskey Tastings at Stoll and Wolfe
Experience 250 years of local whiskey making traditions as we demystify the process of transforming grain into whiskey. We’ll discuss the equipment, techniques and science behind the journey of grain to your glass.
Tours are offered most Saturdays and begin at 2pm. Tours cost $15, last 1 hour and include a Guided Tasting of 3 (.5oz) samples. Visit here for a list of available dates and to book online. Guests must be 21 or older to participate in tasting.
What’s a Guided Tasting? Experience 3 (.5oz) pours of our award winning spirits as we discuss the art and science of tasting whiskey. Whether you’re a die hard whiskey fan or don’t know a brewery from a distillery – we’re true geeks who love to share.
Visit our Eventbrite Page for a Full Schedule of Events including Tours and Classes or to Purchase Tickets.
Want to arrange a Private Tasting for Your Group?Email us or call to learn more.
First batch of Stoll & Wolfe Apple Brandy fermenting away using 5 varieties of apples grown on a family farm less than 2 miles from our distillery. It’s also the first Apple Brandy (legally) fermented in Lancaster County since Prohibition.
A swig of Applejack a day will keep the doctor away” was more apt to be the slogan of our ancestors than the familiar one heard today.
Hiram Eberly “Spirits of Warwick Township
With a documented history of local farmers growing apples for alcohol production stretching back to the 1730’s and detailed records of (Jim and Erik’s) ancestor John George Klein’s orchards on distillery property dating back to the 1750’s, we’re honored to return the tradition to Lancaster County and eager for what the future holds for Stoll & Wolfe Apple Brandy.
Local historian Hiram Eberly wrote: “A swig of Applejack a day will keep the doctor away” was more apt to be the slogan of our ancestors than the familiar one heard today. While corn and rye were among the first crops the German Settlers planted after the forest was cleared, they lost no time in starting orchards.
These were ‘cash crops’ that could be sold by the ‘gallon’ when necessary.
Reference is made in the Royer Family History that during the 1730’s Sebastian Royer who is credited with settling Brickerville “did a thriving business with the Indians, trading his famous ‘Ciderlung’”. The Nanticokes were then on a reservation nearby adjoining the Brubaker and Eberly tracts.
Before the still was available our first farmers would put down as much as fifty barrels of hard apple cider every fall. After the water content froze the hard stuff would be removed and the demand was constant throughout the cold winter months.
Grain whiskies were valued as medicines. While some of the old reliable Indians’ remedies were soon adopted, they were seldom used without alcohol being added to increase their efficiency and these became our first patent medicines. Alcohol was the one sedative available then and practically everybody drank to some degree. They got an early start for peevish infants were often given a soothing mixture of Paregoric and spirits. The eye-opener was quite popular among early risers. Then there would be “lifts” and appetizers during the day, finally ending with a nightcap — and all from the same jug.
Grain was hard to transport to the city markets and oft times just as hard to keep from spoiling when stored. The very survival of many of our first settlers depended on turning their crops into “liquid” which could easily be carried to the city and sold for cash.
Life was hard and short for most of our ancestors and they felt that strong drink was a necessity of life. In fact they did not live long enough to realize the effects of prolonged over drinking as something else was sure to get them first. They knew that spirits disinfected, brought warmth as well as good humor and cheer to their uncomfortable lot.
The first commercial distillery in operation in Lititz is believed to have been built in Rome along the Lititz creek in the 1760’s. What became of it is a mystery but we do know that a thriving business was done at the Inn in the Pilgerhaus (Hershey Apartments until 2008). It can also be assumed that George Klein’s interest in large orchards was not due to an excess demand for applebutter. When the Inn moved to the new Zum Anker building (Sutter Hotel), it became so popular that the Church Fathers complained that too many young people were getting drunk on Sundays. Later on it was ruled that no one should be served drinks at the Inn on Easter and Christmas “except in cases of necessity.” – Hiram Eberly “Spirits of Warwick Township“
Rye Whiskey distilling in our custom column still and doubler. Hand made in Kentucky using over 2,000 pounds of copper, our still was custom built to craft our Pennsylvania Rye Whiskey and Bourbon. Our sweet mash PA Rye is made with local Pennsylvania Rye and Corn using the recipe taught to Dick Stoll by Charlie Beam. After distilling we proof our white whiskey down to 109 before barreling in 53 gallon barrels for 2+ years.
With hot, humid summers and cold winters Eastern Pennsylvania offers a unique climate to age our whiskeys. Planning a trip to Lancaster County? Visit us the Tasting Room or plan a tour and tasting.
The countdown begins as we fill our first PA Rye Whiskey barrels with whiskey distilled in Lancaster County, PA. Don’t worry, there’s still plenty of delicious Rye Whiskey we distilled prior to opening to help pass the time.
To become American Straight Rye Whiskey we need at least 2 years of barrel aging in a charred, new oak barrel at 125 Proof or less. To carry on tradition taught by Charlie Beam to Dick Stoll, our Rye Whiskey is proofed down to 109 before entering the barrel. Stay tuned for updates on the whiskey as it ages on Facebook and Instagram.
Visit Stoll and Wolfe on November 16th at the 2019 West Overton Whiskey Smash. We’ll be on hand pouring our award winning whiskeys and talking Pennsylvania Whiskey past, present and future.
We’ll also be donating 1 of 50 bottles released of Stoll & Wolfe Un Aged Rosen Rye. Signed by Master Distiller Dick Stoll, this bottling is the first Rosen Rye sold in Pennsylvania in nearly 50yrs.
From the Whiskey Smash Site:
“Bring your love of whiskey and join us for our 5th annual Whiskey Smash on Saturday, November 16th. The Whiskey Smash celebrates local craft distilleries and the re-surging popularity craft whiskey and distilled products. As our signature annual event, The Whiskey Smash, provides for ongoing preservation and interpretation efforts.
Column still churning away as Dick Stoll distills Rosen Rye for 1st time in 50 years at Stoll and Wolfe Distillery. Learn more about the journey from 5ozs of seed to 500lbs of grain here.
Thank you to everyone including Delaware Valley Fields Foundation‘s SeedSpark Campign, the Agriculture Department of Penn State University, the many Pennsylvania Farmers who turned 5ozs of seed into 500lbs over 4 years, and team of friends/colleagues who’ve shared so freely of themselves and their knowledge.
PENNSYLVANIA WHISKEY BLOG: 1st BATCH OF ROSEN RYE IN DECADES.
“American whiskey nerds rejoice- Stoll & Wolfe Distillery in Lititz, PA has done a thing. A big thing. One of the amazing and unique things about the rye whiskey that was distilled in Pennsylvania is that much of it was made with a variety of rye called Rosen rye. On the earliest Michter’s jugs, it was even specifically called out as the variety of grain used to produce the Michter’s Pot Still Whiskey.” Read the full post.
FERMENTED ADVENTURE: HISTORY IN THE DISTILLING
“Dick Stoll was the last man to distill Rosen rye into whiskey at Michter’s Distillery in Schaefferstown, Pa. Liquid began to flow into the still and Dick looked on with a very watchful eye. It was an emotional moment for Erik Wolfe as he explained the process of what was about to take place in the distillation. Finally, all of the hard work and preparation would become a reality.” Read the full post.
At 9am this morning Dick Stoll opened the steam valve heating Rosen Rye mash for the first time in 50 years. Thank you to everyone who came out to witness the occasion. Now the mash is cooked and cooled, yeast is pitched and fermentation is bubbling away.
The project is made possible through tireless efforts by Delaware Valley Fields Foundation’s SeedSpark Campaign and the Agricultural Department at Penn State University in State College, PA. We’re thankful to be involved in such a historic project and appreciate their years of hard work and dedication to returning Rosen Rye to Pennsylvania.
Started in 2015 with only 5 ozs of grain sourced from the USDA, after four harvests there’s enough grain to spare 500lbs for distillation while ensuring enough seed for next year’s crop.
Lost Heritage Rye Grain Becomes New Pennsylvania Whiskey
For the first time in decades, the long-lost heritage grain, Rosen rye, will be distilled into rye whiskey in Pennsylvania! “The last man to distill Rosen rye into whiskey at the historic Michter’s Distillery in Schaefferstown, Pa will be the first to distill it here again,” said Laura Fields, founder of the American Whiskey Convention and CEO of the non-profit, The Delaware Valley Fields Foundation.
“Dick Stoll, of Stoll & Wolfe Distillery, is a legend in distilling, and it is an honor to deliver our Rosen rye grain into his very capable hands.”
Laura Fields, CEO Delaware Valley Fields Foundation
Since 2015, Rosen rye seeds have been cultivated and re-planted on agricultural test plots in State College, PA to produce enough usable grain to distill into whiskey. The Delaware Valley Fields Foundation’s SeedSpark Campaign has gone from 5 ounces of Rosen rye sourced from the USDA to over 900 pounds today! 500 lbs of that rye grain will placed into fermenters on Tuesday, September 3, 2019 and distilled into rye whiskey on Saturday, September 7th at Stoll & Wolfe Distillery.
About Delaware Valley Fields Foundation The Delaware Valley Fields Foundation is a non-profit organization that promotes local farming and its history. The organization works with farmers and other non-profits to bring attention to the vital role small farming plays in communities. Members educate the public through events including the American Whiskey Convention. To learn more, visit delvalfieldsfoundation.org.
SeedSpark Campaign The Delaware Valley Fields Foundation’s Seed Spark Campaign is funded by their annual event, the American Whiskey Convention, which takes place each spring in Philadelphia. Each resurrected seed varietal is offered to local farmers once enough seed has been propagated and well-documented research trials have determined which farming practices can be utilized to grow the healthiest and most viable crop.
What is a Heritage Grain? “When Prohibition was enacted, it wasn’t just alcohol production that stopped. Many grains stopped being produced due to the sudden drop in demand. When farmers shifted their attention to other crops, their knowledge and use of those old crops slowly faded away. These are the “lost grains” that we now call heritage grains. Due to changes in local agricultural land use, climate and soil health, many of these seeds (which have not been planted in decades) face challenges that can seem daunting to a modern local farmer. The Delaware Valley Fields Foundation is making every effort to remove any costly “trial and error” period from the farmer’s workload by providing them with growing directions and guidelines for a successful crop using these heritage seeds.
Heritage grains can be very important to the local Pennsylvania economy. If we can help establish these grains with farmers and producers, we can create an industry that is unique to Pennsylvania helping to provide a premier identity for the region. Seed Spark is working to bring back some of those “lost” grains for which the region was once famous. We are working with United States Department of Agriculture Research Service, local universities and farmers to resurrect these treasures. In doing so, we will help kick start economic development in the Delaware Valley and across the state.” -Delaware Valley Fields Foundation
Thank you to Liberty Pole Spirits family for inviting us to be a part of such a fun event and to Countryside Frame Shop for your hospitality. Rumor has it, plans are already in the works for next year’s festivities.
If you’re a fan of American History, American Whiskey or a bit of both, visit Stoll & Wolfe at the upcoming Whiskey Rebellion Festival in Washington, PA. We’ll be on hand Saturday July 14th from 12-4pm to pour samples, and talk PA and Lancaster County Whiskey History. We’ll also have bottles of our Bourbon & Rye Whiskey for sale at the event.
“While the Whiskey Rebellion may be 225 years ago in history, whiskey distillers from across the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania are once again rallying together in Washington Pennsylvania this summer at the 10th Annual Whiskey Rebellion Festival.
This year’s festival will highlight the craft distilling movement which is booming across the state. More than a dozen Pennsylvania distillers will be paired with local shops in and around the festival grounds along Main Street in Washington PA.
Participants will receive a souvenir sampling glass and distillery locator map at the check-in point before exploring the festival grounds and the National Road Historic Corridor.”
To Learn More and Purchase Tickets Visit their Site Here.