Jews of Booze: When 25% of World Jewry Worked in the Alcohol Biz

If I say “Jews in the alcohol business,” what springs to mind?

Many of you probably think of the major kosher wineries. Others realize that pretty much all of the alcohol produced and sold in Israel – beer, spirits and wine – is made by Jews. And the hipsters out there might highlight some boutique Jewish distilleries around the world.

But did you know that, at one point in history, the alcohol industry was a primary means by which Jews supported themselves? How did that come about, why has it been forgotten, and what is the legacy that remains behind?

Those questions are the subject of my latest piece for The Nosher, The Forgotten History of Jews in the Alcohol Industry.


1 comment

  1. Teri Green

    Great read Joel. My great grandfather ran a tavern in Poland. My grandpa told me how he leased a tavern from a rich Polish landlord. Funny though, according to my grandpa, his father never drank alcohol.

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