Whisky ... and in Pittsburgh

Rye whiskey was once so ubiquitous in these parts they called it Monongahela rye, or Old Monongahela. Western Pennsylvania's rye tradition has now gone the way of Kaufmann's department store and winning Pirates' baseball, but folks around here have long memories, and as with those two local relics, it's still nice to celebrate your heritage from time to time.

So along Jacob's Creek in Westmoreland County, starting Friday and running through Saturday, whiskey experts will be talking about the history of Pennsylvania rye production. The seminars are to be held at the West Overton Museums in Scottdale, Westmoreland County. West Overton Village, a pre-Civil War Mennonite settlement, is where the Overholt family eventually made a name for itself, bottling "Old Overholt" rye whiskey at a distillery near there, throughout the 1800s and right up until Prohibition.

The label still exists, but the rye now is made in Kentucky. To learn more about the history of Overholt and other local distilleries, RSVP by Friday by calling 724-887-7910. Admission is $70 per person for the weekend, $25 for the Friday meet-and-greet and live entertainment, and $55 for the Saturday seminar (westovertonvillage.org).

Bill Toland: btoland@post-gazette.com or 412-263-2625.


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