Behind The Whiskey Rebellion
In 1791, Treasury Secretary Alexander Hamilton proposed an excise tax on domestically produced distilled spirits. The tax was a part of Hamilton’s plan to centralize government and reduce the country’s increasing debt from war. Farmers living west of the Appalachian Mountains in Pennsylvania, Maryland, New Jersey, North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia were veterans who distilled their excess grain and corn into whiskey, using it as a medium of exchange.
For them, the tax not only seemed too similar to the American Revolution, taxation without (local) representation, but also a personal affront on their ability to make a living. They believed Hamilton designed the tax to keep them from growing wealth while benefiting larger, wealthier distillers living east of the Appalachians who were not required to pay it.
As tax officials set out to collect the tax in these areas, farmers began to voice their defiance of the law. They rebelled. Their Rebellion lasted until 1794 and is widely regarded as one of the reasons for the birth of American Bourbon in this region.
Welcome to Rebellion
Inspired by the Whiskey Rebellion of 1792-1794, Rebellion was established in Washington, DC in 2014 by two friends and United States Military Veterans who wanted to combine American history with two components of American culture – food and beverage.
Since 2014, Rebellion has expanded locations, its team and whiskey selections, but what has not changed is its love for bringing people together for new and shared experiences over food and beverage.
Our menu takes a creative spin on Southern-American cuisine while staying true to our whiskey roots by making whiskey a staple ingredient in the dishes. From devilled eggs to candied bacon and smoked wings to award-winning burgers made with a proprietary burger blend, Rebellion’s menu is inspired by American heritage.
"Southern-American cooking is an expression of stories. Maybe a dish was passed down from your grandmother or the idea for it came from something you used to watch your father cook – it is all based around community, heritage and memories. Those are things we value at Rebellion and what drives our menu. Behind every dish is a story that brings people together, which for me is what food and drink is all about.”
– Rebellion Partner and Executive Chef Travis Weiss
When you view our beverage menu, you'll find that we are especially partial to "brown juice" made on American soil… Bourbon. Rye. American. Tennessee. We have also been known to dabble in whiskey from our neighbors in Canada and our friends across the pond… Scotland. Ireland. Asia.
We pride ourselves in working alongside well-known distilleries to select one-of-a-kind barrels that you will only find here. After those barrels have been emptied, we transfer the selected barrels to local breweries where we partner with them to design a unique Barrel Aged beer.
Our expansive list of bourbon and whiskey has earned multiple Rebellion locations recognition as one of America’s Best Bourbon Bars by The Bourbon Review. Offering over 100 types of bourbon and whiskey as well as a wide selection of cocktails, craft beer and wine, Rebellion’s beverage menu is like that of the American spirit – bold.