Exceptionally Crafted. Remarkably Rebellious.

Maryland’s distilling roots run deep.

Prior to Prohibition, Maryland proudly produced what is widely regarded to be the nation’s finest whiskey, a distinct style called Maryland Rye. During the 13 years of Prohibition, Maryland’s enterprising farmers continued to turn their plentiful harvests into high-proof “swamp lightning” in stills hidden among the coves, inlets, and marshes of the Chesapeake, and oystermen and crabbers smuggled the “good stuff” up and down the Bay, evading Federal Revenue agents and the Coast Guard and finding safe haven among the close-lipped communities that lined the tidewater.

But rarely did they face harassment from local authorities. Maryland, the only state never to enact a Prohibition enforcement law, was known as the “wettest state” during Prohibition. It was during this time that Maryland figures such as Governor Albert Ritchie and author and Baltimore Sunpaper columnist H.L. Mencken rose to national fame for their vehement opposition to what they viewed as an egregious overreach of Federal authority, and rumrunners like Pete “King James” Kelly rose to infamy.

At Blackwater Distilling, founded in 2008 and Maryland’s first fully-licensed beverage alcohol distillery since 1972, we celebrate this brash, enterprising, and fiercely independent spirit by crafting distinctive spirits that stand apart from the crowd, using organic and local ingredients when possible.

EXCEPTIONALLY CRAFTED AND REMARKABLY REBELLIOUS.

We are Maryland’s spirit.

Lifelong Marylanders, we started Blackwater Distilling in 2008 because we were irresistibly drawn to our state’s unique distilling history.

Before Prohibition, Maryland produced what was widely regarded to be the nation’s finest whiskey, a distinct style called Maryland Rye. During the 13 years of Prohibition, Maryland’s enterprising farmers continued to turn their plentiful harvests into high-proof “swamp lightning” in stills hidden among the coves, inlets and marshes of the Chesapeake. Oystermen and crabbers smuggled the “good stuff” up and down the Bay, evading Federal Revenue agents and the Coast Guard, finding safe haven among the close-lipped communities that lined the tidewater.

Today, as Maryland’s first fully licensed distillery to open since the early 1970’s, we are committed to cultivating that independent spirit by making distinctive craft spirits that stand apart from the crowd, using the most exceptional ingredients, and furthering our rich Chesapeake Bay heritage. Few times in life does one truly have the opportunity to ‘pioneer’ an old way of life. We hope you’ll join us on the adventure!

Christopher Cook & Jonathan Cook