Prior to Prohibition, there was no distilled spirits industry – just the whiskey business. Two Chicago gentlemen, Oscar Getz and Lester Abelson had been engaged in the whiskey business at this time. This was true after Prohibition as well, when these two men joined forces to re-enter the business shortly after the repeal in 1933 and founded Barton Brands.
By 1944, to ensure a reliable source of whiskey, Barton purchased the Tom Moore distillery in Bardstown, Kentucky. Tom Moore had been producing neutral spirits for the military during World War II but had recently returned to the art of bourbon.
A colorful personality, Oscar Getz loved the heritage of the American Whiskey business. Over the years, he collected whiskey memorabilia and eventually opened a museum in their offices in Bardstown. The Oscar Getz Museum remains open in Bardstown to this day.
Barton Brands Today
Facilities today include Barton Brands of MD, Lansdowne, MD; Barton Brands of California, Carson, CA; and Barton Brands of Kentucky, Barton 1792 Distillery, Bardstown, KY. Distillery tours are given six days a week at the Barton 1792 Distillery.