Russell Shorto

Russell Shorto's website

Hip Hops

July 9th, 2016

Not long ago, I found myself in a beer-tasting room in upstate New York, looking out on a field of hops and sampling the craft brews of a company called Indian Ladder Farmstead. Among the list of beers chalked on a blackboard was one particularly hoppy creation named “Dr. Paul Matthews I.P.A.” Naturally I felt obliged to inquire about the eponymous doctor. The owner, Dietrich Gehring, told me that the name was an homage. He said his passion for wild hops had led him to Matthews, to whom he referred as the Lord of the Hops…

My latest post on

3 Responses to Hip Hops

  1. Gary Gillman says:

    Dear Mr. Shorto:

    I found this posting through a twisting path. While I have often written of beer history on my blog, this time it was on gin, which as you know is of Dutch origin. My current posting (see link below) inquires whether there are links between Dutch gin, c.1800 Manhattan gin, and American rye and bourbon whiskey.

    The reference to Pennsylvania Germans and Scots-Irish is because those groups are said to have developed rye whiskey in the mid-1700s in Pennsylvania and certain proximate areas (West Virginia and Maryland especially).

    Bourbon is a further development of rye whiskey.

    I’m wondering now though whether the Dutch may have have started the idea of making spirit from rye and corn in America.

    I write this to you simply because I thought it would interest you given your writing on early Manhattan history.

    Your “Island” book is on my “buy-soon” list.


    Gary Gillman, Toronto.

    • russell says:

      Hi Gary. Thanks for writing. My short answer: I have no idea. But I can check with some people who might. I’ll get back to you if I learn something interesting.

  2. Gary Gillman says:

    HI Russell:

    Many thanks for this. Maryland is old whiskey country, incidentally, especially the western counties; I’m planning a post soon on this.

    All best.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *