Great story. As far as they know, the folk at New Columbia Distillery are the first to make legal gin in Washington, DC. Green Hat Gin has popped-up here and there around the District (try DC Reynolds) and is available direct at their distillery on New York Ave, along with some pretty cool swag.
Green Hat Gin is named for George L. Cassiday, the chief “capitol bootlegger” in the District during the 20s. He literally worked for the House and Senate during prohibition in their offices, and despite a couple of run-ins and a brief stint in jail, he was a “good man simply supplying the market.”
When he was arrested, Cassiday was was wearing a green fedora and he became known as “the man in the green hat.” After a second arrest, the notoriously nice-guy bootler became fed-up with the hypocrisy of imbibing congressmen and senators and started publishing his story in the Washington Post–one week before the 1930 election. No doubt his column had an impact on repealing Prohibition. Up next for New Columbia Distillery, whiskey in about three years.