John Hay Cigars: A Brief History.
If you’re looking for an extraordinarily rich and distinctive flavor from a strong, yet subtle, smoke then stop by their Cigar Bar between food trucks! These cigars have been around since 1882 when it was known as W.W. Stewart & Sons in Newmanstown, PA. When relocated to Reading, PA, in 1898, the business just barely survived the near wipe-out of the cigar industry by cigarettes in the 1950’s. In the early 1990’s, W.W. Stewart’s great-grandson, Craig Stewart revived the business, renamed John Hay Cigars. John Hay was Assistant Private Secretary to President Abraham Lincoln. After Lincoln’s death, Hay wrote a 10-volume book titled “Abraham Lincoln: A History.”
He is best known for his Open-Door Policy with China and establishing the diplomacy that paved the way for the Panama Canal. So how does this tie into having a cigar named after him? In a letter dated February 6, 1899, John Hay wrote to W.W. Stewart from Washington D. C. He enjoyed a box of cigars from Stewart so much that he requested more for his colleagues!
These highly sought after cigars are wrapped in Pennsylvania Broadleaf, “a unique and robust Madura wrapper.” Don’t be thrown off by the appearance of this locally grown leaf: uneven and marbleized. The thick, nutrient soil of Lancaster produces a spicy, leathery core with notes of espresso.
Talk to the experts at the Cigar Bar and see what all the hype is about! Can’t make it to the winery on July 18 & 19?