A Legend is Born

Lorine Sextro was born in Halbur, Iowa November 22, 1911. She married Frank Sextro in 1932. They made their home on Frank’s family farm between Templeton and Manning in Carroll County.


Iowa Votes on Prohibition

With pressure to criminalize the sale and consumption of alcohol rising, Iowa voters reject a state Prohibition referendum on October 15, 1917, by 50.1% to 49.9% allowing alcohol sales to continue.


18th Amendment Passes

The Federal government passes the 18th Amendment on October 28, 1919, banning all alcohol production and sales in the United States.


Prohibition Begins

A nationwide constitutional ban on the production, importation, transportation, and sale of alcoholic beverages in the United States begins January 17, 1920.


The Legend Begins

As the Great Depression continues to have an effect on the economy, the Sextro family begins housing a bootlegger in the attic of their Carroll County family farm in January 1932.

With a family to support, Lorine Sextro learns from the bootlegger she’s housing and begins distilling her own small-batch 100 percent rye whiskey at her Carroll County farm in May 1932.


Feds Raid Farm & 18th Amendment Repealed

ContentDue to an error identifying the correct address, a neighboring farm was raided by Federal agents looking for illegal whiskey in May 1933. Barrels made at the Sextro farm are said to be buried in nearby fields in Carroll County. Their whereabouts are still a mystery today. The Sextro family was never caught.

President Roosevelt ratifies the 21st Amendment on December 5, 1933, repealing the 18th Amendment in the process. It ends the unpopular nationwide prohibition of alcohol.


The Family Secret is Revealed

Lorine Sextro, now a grandma, shares her bootlegging past and passes on her secret rye recipe at aged 78 to a family friend. She refused to let her children know in case they got in trouble with the law.


The Legend Resurrected

Iowa Legendary Rye begins production using Grandma Sextro’s Prohibition-era recipe and distilling process. Rye is made in 26-gallon stills and aged in 15-gallon barrels. When Grandma Sextro was asked why she did it this way she responds, “Have you ever tried running from the law with a 40-gallon barrel?!”

The first bottle of Iowa Legendary Rye ever made legally is sold in December 2015.


Keeping it in the Family. Buried Treasure, & Present Day

Grandma Sextro’s grandson Heath Schneider joins Iowa Legendary Rye after learning about his family’s past in a news story.

The hunt for the Prohibition-era barrels of rye said to have been buried in a Carroll County field continues using specially trained sniffer dogs.

The Legend Continues …