|Wine enjoyed at The Barn Inn Bed and Breakfat|
Many people ask if the Amish and Mennonites drink wine. The answer is "Yes" and "No". The Amish, in general, do not teach against the use of alcohol. They typyically use it medicinally or very discreately in their homes. When an Amish couple gets married, they have wine in their cups, while all other wedding guests have a soft drink or water. As other families, Amish parents do not wish for their young people to drink or become dependent to alcohol. As you travel around Holmes County, you will see some grape arbors. These grapes are not all made into grape jam or grape pie! Many Amish people make their own specialty wines. They would advocate only casual drinking.
Mennonites, on the other hand, have taken a very firm stand against the consumption of alcoholic beverages. In his book, Creative Congregationalism, James O. Lehman, speaks of the Amish church and the Temperance movement. This group of Amish, under the leadership of more progressive-minded preachers, eventually assimilated into the General Conference Mennonites. It is these who, in the late 1860's and early 70's began to question the use of alcohol and abandon it's use. Quoting from his book, Lehman writes, "Like other frontiersmen the Amish of Wayne County for many years used whiskey and other alcoholic beverages. "No self-respecting farmer could refuse to have a gallon jog of whiskey in the field for the use of the workers." Newly arriving Mennonite emigrants from Europe had difficulty understanding the new turn from the use of alcohol. Also in question was whether members of the Oak Grove Amish Church who manufatured liquor should do so. Several members had breweries; Jonathon Burkholder, owning the Smithville Brewery located a little southeast of Smithville, and Martin L. Rich who owned and operated a brewery in Canal Fulton. The Burkholder brewery appears on the 1873 Wayne County map. Another brewer, Peter Rich strongly disagreed to close his brewery and he was excommunicated for his refusal to shut it down. Another Amish man listed as a brewer was Joseph Kropf.
Tobacco was also freely used for many years. Today it is very common, at Auctions or other public places, to see smoking by the Swartzentruber sect.
The management of The Barn Inn Bed and Breakfast take the matter of over consumption of alcohol very seriously and we hope that you will too. Please do not drink and drive. Compliance with all Ohio laws is requested.
The Barn Inn Bed and Breakfast, 08/06/2010