When tourists visit Arizona, they think about the Grand Canyon, Indians, Cowboys, and the Wild West. Ask any tourist what do Arizona cowboy’s drink? Of course the answer is Whiskey. So, what is a rum distillery named the Desert Diamond Distillery doing in Kingman Arizona? Good Question.
Not too many people know that George Washington paid his workers in rum. As early as 1657, a rum distillery was operating in Boston. Rum was a popular currency back in the early days of America with the Triangle Trade between West Africa, Caribbean and American colonies. On the eve of the American Revolution, there were more than 140 rum distilleries operating on the East Coast. Molasses-made rum was the favorite liquor of the newly formed United States. Whereas, wine and other alcoholic spirits from Europe was reserved for upper-class.
Whiskey did not enter the American scene until the early 1800’s when Irish and Scottish immigrants bought over their corn and rye distilling practices to the United States. As settlers and gold miners moved westward so did whiskey and rum. The first place that was actually called a “saloon” was at Brown’s Hole, now named Browns Park, Wyoming. Established in 1822, Brown’s Saloon catered to the many trappers during the heavy fur trading days. Back in the Wild West days, alcoholic beverages served in saloons were wicked concoctions consisting of raw alcohol, burnt sugar, chewing tobacco, possibly even a little gunpowder or they served fermented ciders made from fruits and native plants. Rum was in limited quantities due to the lack of molasses in the western United States. Julius Kessler started introducing blended grain whiskey in Colorado when the silver boom started at Leadville in the late 1870’s. Whiskey and beer shipments spread through the Wild West with completion of the transcontinental railroad.
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The first brewery in Arizona was built in 1866 by Alex Levin. By the early 1870’s, nearly every Arizona town had their own beer brewery. Better refrigeration transport and Prohibition forced local beer breweries to close. With the repeal of Prohibition in 1933 new breweries and distilleries quickly opened throughout the United States. Eight brewing companies opened in Arizona. Only the Arizona Brewing Company would survive. The Arizona Brewing Company was founded in Phoenix Arizona on May 06, 1933 by two brothers, Martin and Herman Fenster. At this time, Phoenix Arizona with a population of about 50,000 citizens was the largest city and transportation center between El Paso and Los Angeles. Arizona Brewing Company was purchased in 1964 by the Carling Brewing Company, Cleveland, Ohio, a subsidiary of Canadian Breweries Ltd. of Canada.
By the late 1970’s liquor consumption peaked in the United States. Liquor sales slowly fell with concerns about drunken driving and health risks which lead to reforms on bottle labeling and public safety. There were more than 700 brewing companies operating in the United States after Prohibition. But, by 1979, the number dwindled to about 45 companies. And, by 1984 the four largest liquor firms controlled 94 percent market share. Ernest and Julio Gallo winery controlled almost 53 percent of America’s wine and brandy.
In the 1990’s another liquor trend started to emerge. As the baby boomer generation matured, they become more selective about what liquor they drank and became more brand conscious. Microbreweries began to re-appear in America. In 2000, there were over 1,000 microbreweries across the United States.
The microbrewery trend has given cadence to the micro-distillery movement, sometimes referred to as boutique distilleries. Arizona High Spirits Distillery in Flagstaff became Arizona’s first legal distillery in November 2005. Their feature products are a Prickly Pear Vodka and American Vodka.
Just recently, the Desert Diamond Distillery located in Kingman, Arizona was established in March 2009. It is Arizona’s first rum distillery. Rum was once America’s most popular liquor. But today only a few rum distilleries remain in the United States, mostly in the southern sugarcane producing states. Most rum is being produced in the Caribbean nd Central America. However, small micro-distilleries producing rum are starting to appear again in America.
So, what is a rum distillery named the Desert Diamond Distillery doing in Kingman Arizona? Desert Diamond Distillery is writing a new page in America’s history giving rebirth to our founding fathers’ appetite for rum.
The Desert Diamond Distillery Gold Miner Rum is both American and Arizona Wild West spirit at its finest. With molasses sourced from Louisiana, the Desert Diamond Distillery is re-creating American cultural tradition with Wild West Gold Miner spirit. It’s Made in Arizona rum offers three distinctive adventurous styles: Gold Miner White rum, Gold Miner Dark rum and Agave Rum. Desert Diamond Distillery received the Bronze Award for it’s Gold Miner Dark Rum at the 2010 Ministry of Rum Tasting Competition.
Desert Diamond Distillery is the first American distillery to introduce Agave Rum. The Gold Miner Agave Rum is combination of molasses dark rum and agave that produces a refreshing smooth taste perfect for the American Wild West spirit. The Gold Miner brand Premium Hand Crafted Agave Rum is seductively rich in delicious flavor, amber color and desert fragrance. Agave rum can be enjoyed chilled over ice or served at room temperature as an after-dinner drink. The perfect ribute while reminiscing about the Arizona scenery and its star-lit sky.
If you like celebrity nostalgia, the Desert Diamond Distillery tasting room features the famous historic Bar from the original “Andre’s” restaurant on the old Las Vegas Strip, where celebrities like Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin and Elvis Presley once frequented. When you visit the Desert Diamond Distillery in Kingman, Arizona you can tell your friends that you drank at the same Bar that served Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Elvis Presley and other movie stars. Gold Miner Rum is an American icon “a natural gem, rich and beautiful as a golden nugget”. A Gold Miner’s delight!
Enjoy a glass of Gold Miner Rum. Made in Arizona with Wild West Gold Miner spirit. Desert Diamond Distillery is located in Kingman, Arizona near the Historic Route 66 Highway. Desert Diamond Distillery 4875 Olympic Drive Kingman, Arizona 86041. Telephone: (928) 757-7611 . Visit their website at: www.desertdiamonddistillery.com