Whiskey Rebellion Trail Launches This Week

The trail will celebrate the history of rye whiskey and tax rebellion in Western Pennsylvania.

History and rye whiskey enthusiasts will have a new chance to explore their passions when The Whiskey Rebellion Trail launches on Friday, July 12.

The trail will connect more than 75 distilleries and cultural sites between Pittsburgh, Philadelphia and Washington, DC. Similar to the Bourbon Trail in Kentucky, travelers will have the chance to taste different whiskeys across the area and learn about the history of distilling--and protest--in the region.

The Whiskey Rebellion took part in one of the earliest chapters of United States history. In 1791, Treasury Secretary Alexander Hamilton proposed a tax on all domestically distilled spirits, which became known as the "whiskey tax." Farmers in Western Pennsylvania immediately began protesting the tax, by which they felt unfairly targeted. Protesters began using violence and intimidation to stop federal tax collectors sent to the region. Ultimately, President George Washington had to personally lead 13,000 troops from Philadelphia (the nation's capital at the time) to Pittsburgh to quash the rebellion.

Alexander Hamilton proposed the "whiskey tax" that lead to violent insurrection in Western Pennsylvania.

"This is truly the only region in America that can tell that story," Meredith Meyer Grelli, co-owner of Pittsburgh's Wigle Whiskey, told the Post-Gazette . The distillery is named for Phillip Wigle, who was convicted of treason and sentenced to death by hanging for his role in the Whiskey Rebellion but was later pardoned by President Washington .

A website will launch on Friday ( offering more information and a chance to buy passes for different parts of the trail. A year-long pass for the entire trail will be available.

The Post-Gazette reports that the first three years of the trail are being funded by destination marketing organizations including VisitPittsburgh .

"We see the Trail as a wonderful way to show off our region's rich history as well as its emergence as an area with something for everyone," VisitPittsburgh president & CEO Craig Davis said.

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