The Baltimore Pure Rye Distilling Co. — Dundalk, Maryland

(By Linda and John Lipman, American Whiskey)

IN THE 1930’s, shortly after the 18th amendment was repealed, two distilleries were built in the countryside east of Baltimore. The area is known as Dundalk. The topsy-turvy shuffling of market positions that marked the post- scramble is well illustrated by these two plants, located virtually next-door to one another.

One distillery was built on farm land just off Sollers Point Road in the 1930s. It’s hard to believe today, but the population of Dundalk at that time was less than 8,000, mostly employees of the Maryland Steel Company at nearby Sparrows Point.

The distillery was the Baltimore Pure Rye distillery, and the brick smokestack bearing its name still stands. But the distillery it stands over is known to most people as Seagram’s. Baltimore Pure Rye closed in 1957, and Seagram’s purchased it to produce Paul Jones and Four Roses. This is somewhat confusing, since Seagram’s bought these brands as part of their purchase of Frankfort Distillery in the early 1940s. Frankfort Distillery was not single plant, but a Louisville-based company owned by the Paul Jones Company, which owned a number of distilleries and brands. Among the brands was Four Roses, and among the distilleries was the other Dundalk plant, located on Willow Spring Road, around the corner from Baltimore Pure Rye. Of course, the purchase of Frankfort Distillery included that site as well, and they were already running their original Baltimore distillery, Calvert, not far away.

Continue reading “The Baltimore Pure Rye Distilling Co. — Dundalk, Maryland” at American Whiskey: Rye Distilleries of Eastern Pennsylvania & Maryland.

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