Fred Scott, Jr.
(434) 295-4188


"Using the horse hitch was a great way to advertise". Sue Shelkey, Marketing Representative

This traveling hitch of four Belgian Horses carries on a tradition often used by the brewers and distillers in the past of delivering their products with fancy horse drawn vehicles. This particular wagon is loaded with Virginia Gentleman Bourbon barrels in celebration of the heritage of the Bowman Companies.

Sue Shelkey, Marketing Representative reports: "Having the horses at events was always a plus for the distillery! They attracted the young and the old and no one could resist getting close and giving the horses a pat!"

Shelkey adds: "Fred and the gals made each occasion a lot of fun and worked well with the crowds. Using the horse hitch was a great way to advertise".

The A. Smith Bowman Distillery was founded at the end of prohibition as a farm sideline on Sunset Hills - a 7,300 acre farm in Fairfax County, Va. Smith Bowman, like a lot of farmers, was trying to figure out a way to increase the value of his corn crop and the distillation of corn into liquor made it more valuable than selling the raw grain. He began operations by bottling Virginia Gentleman Bourbon and later added Fairfax County Bourbon.

At that time the company was quite small and sales of its products were limited to local, and loyal mostly Virginia customers. Later, in 1960, the family sold most of Sunset Hills Farm and continued to operate the distillery on the 60 acres remaining, which was ultimately surrounded by the town of Reston, VA.

In 1971, John B. Adams, Jr. (Jay Adams) joined the company as Vice President of Production.

Asked about the Bundoran horses, Jay responds: "Fred and his horses were most helpful in marketing our Bowman's Spring Water product. The wagon and the team were an instant hit, and gave us a means to attract attention to our product and to sample it to an enthusiastic crowd.. It's a class act!"

In February of 1988, the company having sold its Fairfax location, moved to Fredericksburg, and began bottling its new product lines. There were about 45 employees who had been with the company for a number of years in Reston and all the employees who wanted to move with the company were able to do so with the great encouragement of their employers. So the team of talented people with the skill and the knowledge that it takes to make the Bowman high quality products all moved 60 miles down the road.

In 1989 DeLong Bowman died and Robert E. Lee, IV became Chairman and Jay Adams became President and Chief Executive Officer.

This was a 47 year old company that had been exclusively in the Bourbon business when the Bowman Company introduced its first non-Bourbon product: Bowman's Virginia Vodka. Within two years this product became the number one distilled spirit sold in Virginia and still holds that title as the premier vodka in sales in Virginia. Five years later, Bowman's Gin was introduced and subsequently Bowman's Light Vodka, and Imported Rum, Scotch, and Tequila and were introduced in the early 1990's.

The Bowman Horse Hitch used a massive keg wagon that was restored to splendor by our farm crew and was presented as a promotion of the Bowman Spring Water product line that was brought to market in 1994. As the Bowman Spring Water hitch traveled throughout Virginia, we were pleased to share the heritage of the past and our optimistic prospects for the future.

No question these teams can make an impression on your customers. Quiet, safe and friendly, both our horses, and our professional teamsters really like people, and it shows.

We can do it for you, too.
Book the Belgians..