Before There Was Bourbon: Spirits In The Frontier Days

kentucky-frontier-e0f477ae8ea8697b594f29337455b3a11e0ec4fcKentucky was the first American West. In the 1770s, settlers started coming to Kentucky, traveling either through the Cumberland Gap or down the Ohio River. They had to bring everything they needed to live and prosper, and for many, that included stills.

Distilled spirits were a very important part of frontier life. These new Kentuckians worked hard from dawn to dusk. They had to build cabins and barns. They had to clear fields and plant crops. They had to care for livestock. There was always something to do, and it usually called for heavy labor, so when they awoke in…