Beer was central to the American Revolution: Boston's "Sons of Liberty" held their secret meetings over pints at the North End's Green Dragon Tavern. The Battle of Lexington occurred outside of the Buckman Tavern - the militia's meeting & rally point. General George Washington mandated a daily ration of 1 Quart of beer for each of his men. The Continental Congress even decreed in 1775, "beer fuels the flames burning within our armies."
Yet, beer is just the beginning.
Able Ebenezer is an homage to the inspirational actions of New Hampshire citizens who rallied behind Ebenezer Mudgett in 1772 to defy British oppression. History remembers this event as the Pine Tree Riot.
Ebenezer is the head of a large family, and works tirelessly to provide for them. He takes a chance in 1765, purchases land and settles in the newly established town of Weare to begin his own business as an ale & spirit merchant. His operation is successful and quickly expands into many industries - including logging. Ebenezer becomes a leader within the community, building many of the first meeting halls and homes with Pine Trees from his own land.
Enter the Pine Tree Law: The British - whose own nation has been deforested from excessive logging - pass a law granting any colonial White Pine tree greater than 12 inches in diameter to the British government, primarily to maintain their naval superiority. This law is considered by working colonists to be more offensive than the Stamp Act, Tea Tax & others because it directly seizes a prized commodity growing on their own property. Ebenezer - along with many others across NH - find this notion ridiculous. They continue working.
The Royal Governor assigns government officials - "Surveyors of the King's Woods" - to track down violators. Many are caught; most choose to pay the heavy fines rather than risk imprisonment. Ebenezer and those within his community refuse.
A warrant is issued for Ebenezer's arrest. On April 13, 1772, the Sheriff organizes a posse to hunt him down.
That evening, many local citizens come together at Ebenezer's home - which often doubled as a tavern - offering to help pay his fines. Instead, over pints of locally brewed ale, he rallies them to inflict a different kind of payment.
In the early hours the following morning, Ebenezer and his men arm themselves, blacken their faces, and storm the inn where the Sheriff & his deputy sleep, The officials attempt to put up a fight, but are quickly overwhelmed; they are beaten, dragged from their rooms, forced atop their horses and chased out of town to the cheers of townspeople. The Rioters are subsequently labelled "Notorious Offenders" in the press, and armed soldiers are mobilized to quell the riot.
Months later, Ebenezer and several of his leading "conspirators" are finally tracked down, captured and turned over to the New Hampshire courts. Yet, to the surprise of British loyalists - who expected the harshest of punishments for these traitors - the Judges side with the rioters and let them all go free. This marks the first event whereby both colonists and local government successfully engage in an act of civil disobedience against the British crown. The story spreads across the colonies.
The Pine Tree Riot becomes an inspiring event for the many riots to follow, including the Boston Tea Party.
The White Pine tree goes on to become a symbol used widely by the Patriots on militia and naval flags throughout the American Revolution, first seen at the Battle of Bunker Hill. New Hampshire becomes the first colony to declare independence from England; 6 months before the Continental Congress does so.
Ebenezer volunteers to fight on behalf of New Hampshire in the Revolutionary war, serving in the 1st New Hampshire Regiment under John Stark. He and other Able NH men defeat the British in upstate New York at Ticonderoga, and in Vermont at the Battle of Bennington. Following the war, he returns home to his family and his work.
Whether building a business, a movement or a new nation, Ebenezer believed he was Able for the task, risking everything for his great cause. His example of sheer individual ability is why we proudly bear the name Able Ebenezer.