The story of the Irish and Whitetails
Prior to and during the great famine, thousands of rural Irish were forcibly removed from their lands by landlords that wanted to charge higher rents on an already poor population on the verge of starvation.
For our ancestors, they were removed from their homes on Árainn Mhór Island and forced to walk to ships in Derry and Donegal that would take them to a strange new land in North America. From there they would be brought to locations in Canada and America by coffin ships to begin a new life for themselves and their families. They eventually made it to a small island in the middle of Lake Michigan called Beaver Island, a small place that reminded them of home. With many speaking little or no English, these Irish communities were at the core of their new lives in a strange land.
As the emigrants followed work westward, they settled in the mining towns, logging camps, or fishing villages north of the Island in Michigan's Upper Peninsula. This presented these families with new challenges that they never faced before. One of these challenges was the harsh North American winters. Faced with the inability to farm the lands as they had before, survival meant finding new sources of food. One of the most common food sources in the Great Lakes region was the whitetail deer.
Communities and friends banded together to build cabins in the woods to facilitate this search for food. These "camps" became family were memories and stories were shared. These camps also became a place to share and consume their favorite drinks to keep them warm during the cold winter months. Whiskey, Beer, and music, helped develop the culture that would blend their old world with their new. Making the Upper Peninsula their new home, but never leaving Ireland far from mind.
Ireland has a call that beckons all of her sons and daughters to return home. Much like the call of the loons in their new home, this call could be heard everywhere they traveled. The sounds of the loon drifted over the lakes and lands in a way the pipes flowed over the mountains and bogs. Always reminding those who left of their desire to return.
Unfortunately, very few ever had the means or opportunity to return home. Irish Whitetail is in honour of them, those who went before us and forged a life that we would not be able to enjoy without their sacrifices. From enduring hardships, unsafe working conditions, and war torn battlefields; these are the individuals who gave us this great time to live in. Every bottle of Irish Whitetail is made with friends and family in mind, sharing in all of life's special moments.
So pick up a glass, have a toast to our past, and share a dram with those closest to you. For you never know how long we have together, but we will always have the memories we share together.
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