In December of 1935, America’s whiskey industry was on life support.
While Prohibition was finally over, the future for distillers was, to say the least, incredibly bleak. After 13 long years of being out of business, would people still want to drink bourbon and rye? Would the Great Depression ever end? Would the temperance movement succeed in getting Prohibition reinstated?
In the midst of these turbulent times, entrepreneurs saw an opportunity. The Shapira family, which ran a small chain of five-and-dime stores across Kentucky, took a leap of faith and invested in a nascent whiskey business.
On this episode of the award-winning podcast Life Behind Bars, co-hosts David Wondrich and Noah Rothbaum are joined by Max Shapira, president of Heaven Hill, to talk about how his family built one of America’s largest independent whiskey companies and turned Evan Williams and Elijah Craig bourbons and Rittenhouse Rye into best sellers.
So pour yourself a glass of whiskey and listen to this episode of Life Behind Bars. Cheers!
Life Behind Bars features Half Full’s editor Noah Rothbaum and its Senior Drinks Columnist David Wondrich as they discuss the greatest bartenders and greatest cocktails of all time. It won the 2018 Tales of the Cocktail Spirited Award for the world’s best drinks podcast.
Edited by Alex Skjong