Who Was Deacon Giles?
The story of Deacon Giles was originally written as a temperance tract, here in Salem, circa 1835. This story inspired us to revive the art of distilling in a town once rich in both trade and spirits, but sadly devoid of distilleries for the last 100 years. As the story goes...
Amos Giles was an impious man, distilling rum on the Sabbath, paying his employees with liquor and selling bibles from his counting room. After his employees finally walked out in anger, he unknowingly hired a gang of demons to operate his distillery. The demons decided to play a trick on Old Deacon Giles, secretly branding his barrels with messages of damnation that glowed with an unholy light when tapped. This story, first published in 1835, was purported to have been a vision of George B. Cheever, a young firebrand minister in Salem who went on to be a leader in both the temperance and anti-slavery movements. The story created a great uproar, as it was apparent to most that it was a thinly veiled lambasting of a popular local businessman. Cheever was whipped in the street and convicted of libel, but his story was reprinted numerous times under the title, “The Dream, or, the True History of Deacon Giles´ Distillery.”
Who Is Deacon Giles?
Deacon Giles Distillery was founded on the desire of two friends and colleagues in the craft industry to return to tradition by reviving an historic industry while embracing our modern environment. We wanted to roll up our sleeves and craft something exceptional using our own hands, uniquely infused with our personalities and steeped in history. We create spirits that speak for themselves, and say something about the people who make them as well as those who enjoy them.
Co-Founder and Count de Monet
Born and raised in St. Louis, Ian moved to Salem in 2001. Ever a tinkerer and having never been one to let minor details like knowledge and experience prevent him from following his passions, he has worked as a musician, a teacher, a network manager, an instrument manufacturer, and an accountant. After getting into homebrewing, Ian started writing a business plan to open a craft brewery, which is when he first encountered the story of Deacon Giles. Years later, on a fateful trip to Bermuda with his wife, it finally dawned on him that a craft distillery was just what Salem needed. Shortly thereafter, during a serendipitous conversation over some drinks with Jesse, the two of them realized that together they could make Deacon Giles Distillery a reality.
Co-Founder and Chief Alchemist
A native of New Hampshire, Jesse has always maintained a passion for well made craft beverages. After a earning a degree from UNH, an Intensive Brewing Science and Engineering diploma from The American Brewers Guild, and many homebrew batches, his passion ultimately led to a career in brewing. As he developed his pallet he and his wife would visit every distillery and brewery they could while pursuing their shared passion for travel. When he and Ian ultimately met and realized their shared passion for owning their own distillery, there was no looking back. For Jesse, Deacon Giles Distillery represents his opportunity to make his own hand crafted spirits to be shared with family and enjoyed with friends.