Charlie Beam Mentor to Dick Stoll

From American Whiskey History

A man that needs no introduction- Charles “Charlie” Everett Beam.

This image of Mr. Beam (Lebanon Daily News, May 4, 1974) was taken as he was retiring from his role of master distiller at Michter’s Distillery in Schaefferstown, Pennsylvania. The article describes his career and gives a bit of insight into his incredible legacy. C.Everett Beam was among the last traditional master distillers of rye whiskey in the country. He was there when Pennco Distillery (aka Michter’s) modernized and brought in a column still to replace its old chambered still.

A new way of making rye was being ushered in, and so much of what he knew was no longer required knowledge. In the years before his retirement, Charlie Beam trained his protégé, Dick Stoll, to take on his role as master distiller.

Stoll was the last master distiller in Pennsylvania and the first modern “craft distiller.” This description comes from Mr. Stoll being the only man in the American whiskey industry that was operating a cooper pot still to make small batches of whiskey for retail sale to the public. It may sound normal now, but there were no small craft distillers using pot stills in the 70s or 80s. (Labrot & Graham disn’t install their pot stills until the 90s.)

Thankfully, Dick Stoll was able to return to distilling later in his life, and he was able to pass on some of what Charlie Beam knew about rye to Erik Wolfe, owner of Stoll & Wolfe Distillery in Lititz, PA. Neither Mr. Beam nor Mr. Stoll are still with us today, but Erik Wolfe and his father, Jim, are going to be making rye whiskey the way Charlie taught Dick to make it for a long time to come.