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Honoring Laird &Amp; Company

Rep. Rush Holt

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Mr. Speaker, I rise today to honor Laird & Company on its 225th Anniversary as a family, owned and operated New Jersey business located in Scobeyville, New Jersey. Laird & Company is the oldest licensed distiller in the United States and is most well known for its famous Applejack.

The history of Laird & Company is very rich. The company can trace its origin back to 1698 when William Laird moved to Monmouth County, New Jersey from Scotland and began making Scotch by using one of the most abundant resources in the area, apples. He made this brandy for his own family, friends and neighbors.

During the Revolutionary War, Robert Laird served under George Washington and during the Battle of Monmouth, the Laird family would supply the troops with Applejack. Washington enjoyed Applejack and personally requested the recipe to produce his own. To this day, Washington is the only non-Laird family member to know the secret Laird's Applejack recipe.

During Prohibition, the company was able to survive by selling sweet cider and applesauce. Since the Prohibition, Laird & Company has produced roughly 95 percent of all Applejack apple brandy sold in the United States. Laird & Company halted their production of Applejack during World War II to aid in the war effort by converting their plant to dry and dehydrate apple pomace for pectin and other products.

Laird & Company was recognized by the New Jersey State Senate in 1964 as the ``oldest native distilled spirit beverage in the United States.'' The plant in Scobeyville, New Jersey is the oldest operating distillery in the country and it produces close to 1.5 million cases of distilled spirits annually.

I rise today to commend Laird & Company in its 225th year as a family owned and operated business with a deep history. I applaud the service that Laird & Company has made to the individuals and communities of Central New Jersey and the country.