The Official Whiskey of the United States Public Health and Marine Hospital Service

history whiskey

PHS Proud offers Public Health Service t-shirts, sweaters, tank tops mugs, and glasses. Wouldn’t it be cool if there was a whiskey specifically for PHS? Well, there used to be! 

Green River whiskey used to be THE official whiskey of PHS in the late 1890’s. Of course, PHS was known as the Marine Hospital Service back then. The whiskey was crafted in Kentucky by a man named John McCulloch.

Green River Whiskey was known as, “The Whiskey Without the Headache” and was known for its exceptional quality. Here is a blurb mentioning the Marine Hospital Service’s acknowledgement of such quality: 

“Green River quality gained the attention of the U.S. Marine Hospital Service for its exceptional qualities and in 1897 the U.S. Marine Hospital Service awarded John McCulloch its highest honor; a contract to supply the marine service and U.S. embassies worldwide. Every year well into the early 1900's, John McCulloch competed against the best spirits in the country and continually was awarded this prestigious contract.” 

If you wish this whiskey was still around, you’re in luck!

Green River Distilling recently announced a revival as soon as 2021. If you’re interested in purchasing whiskey from them in the future, you can check out their official website here 

Know some interesting history about the Public Health Service? Email me at to be a guest on the blog.

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  • Tim Buhl on

    It’s awesome to see this. I’m a tour guide at the Green River Distillery and we mention this information in the history portion of our tour. I was an employee of Indian Health Service in Reno, Nv. prior to this job. My supervisor was a LtCmdr in the PHS. Keep up the good work!

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