Beer, Wine and Spirits. Tastings and Travel. News and Events. Classic Flavors from Breweries, Wineries and Distilleries Across the Drinks World.

Saturday, June 09, 2007

New York State Museum Displays 18th Century Albany Rum Distilery

Drinks can be a tool to understanding history. Almost all cultures in man's recorded history used beer, wine or spirits as a part of religious or cultural ceremonies. Alcohol was also a part of the economic and social fabric for most communities.

A good example of this is an exhibit that opens on June 11 at the New York State Museum in Albany. Beneath the City: An Archaeological Perspective of Albany traces the development of one of North America's oldest cities. Among the featured elements of the exhibit: an 18th Century rum distillery that was discovered by workers in 2001 when they were building a parking garage.

The Dutch established Fort Orange in 1624. The English renamed the outpost Albany when they took control in 1664. The two seven-foot diameter fermentation vats that are part of the exhibit come from the era of British rule. A distillery was built in 1758-59 near the Hudson River and just outside the city limits so the operators to skirt laws that restricted the sale of alcoholic beverages to soldiers inside the city. It was a thriving business for its time and had an economic impact on Albany.

No comments: