You will have an opportunity to interact directly with the master distiller and discuss what makes our hand crafted spirits so unique and flavorful. Choose the right day and get an opportunity to help bottle our next batch of Moonshine or other small batch sprit.
We grow our own grains on our own farm, so we choose the type and variety of grains that go into our craft whiskeys.
Davenport, Iowa was one of the wettest cities in America. Before the hubbub and hobgoblins of Temperance and Prohibition, two hundred saloons flourished in Davenport. In the long past days – before cars, tractors and modern equipment – life was tough.
It was the age of whiskey for breakfast, where hard grinding workers took a soothing shot before work to stave off aches and pains and enjoyed a slow social drink in the afternoon to unwind from a ten hour work day. The epicenter of this collection of beer halls, wine rooms and saloons was an area called Bucktown. The local newspaper, The Davenport Democrat, often referred to the area as a working man’s resort. Local clergyman, Henry Cosgrove called it “The Wickedest Place in America.”
Abraham Lincoln also played an important role in the history of Davenport, Iowa. One of the trial cases which propelled Lincoln’s career and fame as an attorney came in 1856 when a steamboat collided with the first railroad bridge spanning the Mississippi.
The bridge – which connected Rock Island, Illinois to Davenport, Iowa and points westward (and touched Davenport just a few hundred yards from the modern day location of Artisan Grain Distillery) – was viewed by the river boat industry as an impediment to navigation. Immediately following the collision in which both the bridge and Riverboat Effie Afton burned.
Captain Hurd, the owner of the river boat sued the bridge company for the then princely sum of $50,000 dollars. The bridge company brought in Abraham Lincoln to defend their actions in Federal Court. Because of the political importance of navigation versus westward expansion, this trial was one of the biggest stories of the day.
We know Lincoln visited the sight of the crash and according to a scholarly article by Jay Shultz appearing on Illinois Periodicals Online:
Lincoln mastered all of the facts about the river, the bridge, the steamboat operation, and the crash, and prior to the trial Lincoln visited the crash site.
No doubt during this visit, Lincoln had the opportunity to sample the smooth flavor and rich aroma of Davenport whiskey. There are numerous historical mentions of President Lincoln’s fondness for a smooth drink of whiskey as a social nicety, but we loved the story related by fellow New Salem, Illinois resident and Lincoln friend Daniel Green Burner:
Physically, Mr. Lincoln was the strongest man I ever knew. That is saying a good deal. Let me tell you what I saw him do. He took a full barrel of whisky, containing forty-four gallons, gripping each end with one hand, raised it deliberately to his face and drank from the bunghole. In doing this he won a ten dollar hat from Bill Green.