Bomberger’s Distillery, which at one point became Michter’s, closed in Schaefferstown, Lebanon County, in 1989. The structures are mostly demolished, other than the ones on the National Register of Historic Places. Michter’s Whiskey is now based in Kentucky, and a Lititz couple is reviving Bomberger’s Distillery.
“We need to save that Pennsylvania history and keep it in Pennsylvania,” Avianna Wolfe said.
Wolfe and her husband, Erik, moved to his hometown of Lititz after living in New York City for several years. They are self-described “foodies” who have backgrounds in the restaurant industry.
The Wolfes connected with Dick Stoll, a former master distiller from Michter’s who was trained by C. Everett Beam from the Jim Beam family.
“He’s part of our company and is helping us bring back the Bomberger’s legacy,” Wolfe said.
The Wolfes released the revived Bomberger’s Distillery’s first bottles in late 2014. The whiskey, a blend of straight bourbon and rye, sells for $50 a bottle on the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board’s website, at Lancaster’s Thistle Finch distillery and at other locations in several states.
Currently, the Bomberger’s Distillery team is doing its blending and bottling at Thistle Finch Distillery in Lancaster. The Wolfes hope to open a distillery in Lititz.
“Pennsylvania is the place for whiskey in the Northeast, and craft spirits is taking off,” Wolfe said.
Whiskey is initially clear and gets its caramel color from being aged in wooden barrels. Bourbon is aged for two-and-a-half years and rye for three-and-a-half years to produce what consumers purchase.