1894 Milwaukee Brandy Revolution

Brandy Revolution

The Brandy Revolution started in Milwaukee. When in 1893 Chicago hosted the World’s Columbian Exposition many Wisconsinites visited the exhibition. The trade show hosted among others Captain Pabst displaying his beer, Aunt Jemima demonstrating her pancake mix, and people tasted Californian Brandy. According to Jeanette Hurt, author of the book Wisconsin Cocktails, German Wisconsinites loved the Korbel brothers’ brandy, which then popularized drinking brandy in the state. 

By 1894 drinking brandy became so popular that it started a cocktail revolution in Milwaukee using brandy for classic cocktails instead of whiskey. Especially young German men favored the “Brandy Old Fashioned“, and made it “the One Wisconsinites prefer”.

According to the research of Hurt, there was a lack of good brandy after World War II that caused caused Wisconsin distributors searching for good brandy everywhere to meet the brandy demand. They finally could get hold of 30,000 cases of quality aged brandy of Christian Brothers for Wisconsin exclusively.

American Brandy lost its market share over time, though especially when in 1964 Congress promoted Bourbon as a designated signature product of the United States and protected its quality worldwide. AmBRu Campaign is today promoting to protect American Brandy in the same way as Bourbon was protected to recognize its historic importance and quality standards for the United States of Amrica. 


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