Maryland Ban on Grain Alcohol Hurts Violin Makers

Sunday, August 24, 2014 - 04:00 PM

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) -- Binge drinkers and frat boys aren't the only ones despairing over Maryland's new ban on grain alcohol: Violin makers who used the liquor to make varnish are also affected.

Silver Spring violin maker Howard Needham tells The Washington Post that nothing works better than Everclear grain alcohol for making the varnishes he uses to repair chipped or broken musical instruments. He's been hoarding whatever grain alcohol he can get his hands on since the ban took effect last month.

Other violin makers report similar concerns.

Maryland became one of several states to ban sales of alcohol at 190 proof or higher. Leaders at Maryland's colleges and universities supported the ban, saying students abused grain alcohol as a cheap way to get drunk.


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Comments [5]

concetta nardone from Nassau

Many years ago, my mother's cousin would make liquors with pure grain alcohol. Among these, were lemon, almond, etc. It was fun seeing her make these in her special porcelain pot. A ceremony would accompany the making of these liquors.

Aug. 26 2014 11:28 AM


I just heard Elliot Forest Talk about Maryland's banning of pure grain alcohol. Well don't worry violin makers!

I travel to CT.every year in the fall, to buy pure grain with my wife & spend a few days enjoying the state.

I buy pure grain there for my LIMONCELLO - I make 48 bottles for holiday season (GIFTS) for

friends & family. I have been making my Limoncello for over 30 years !

I buy GRAVES pure grain (strange name) less expensive than everclear.

I am a chemist & pure grain Is pure grain .I have my grandpa's recipe from the early 50's.



Aug. 26 2014 10:26 AM

@ BOF and Ms. Nardone~
Maybe the headline writer had imbibed too much alochol (sic, er, hic!). DD~~
Nice to see that they fixed it.

Aug. 25 2014 06:53 PM
Barry Owen Furrer

@ Ms. Nardone~
And for more irony, Maryland legalized medical marijuana just this year!

Aug. 25 2014 02:36 PM
concetta nardone from Nassau

You spelled alcohol wrong.
Unbelievable that something like this should be banned.

Aug. 25 2014 09:04 AM

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