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UC Davis investigating theft of 24 foot tall historic distilling equipment

According to UC Davis, the column is the only one of its kind in the U.S. and was to be used as a historical centerpiece of a future distillery building.
Credit: Andy Fell (UC Davis)
The disassembled distillation column.

DAVIS, Calif. — According to a press release, the UC Davis Police Department is investigating the theft of a historic distillation column from the UC Davis's Jackson Sustainable Winery building over the weekend.

Police believe the thieves who stole the column entered the building from a window and dragged parts of the already disassembled column out to a waiting vehicle. Once the column is fully assembled, it is 24 feet tall.

The column is made out of copper and has been used to teach distilling on campus for 50 years. Officials from UC Davis's Jackson Sustainable Winery building are afraid it might be sold for scrap. Former UC Davis Professor James Guymon was given the equipment in 1949, and it was used for 50 years for teaching courses in distilled beverages, as well as in Guymon’s research on whiskey and brandy distilling. 

According to Roger Boulton, professor emeritus of viticulture and enology, Guymon’s work formed the basis for several whiskey and brandy businesses after World War II.

The distillation column is the only one of its kind in the United States and was there to be a historical centerpiece of a future Teaching and Research Distillery building.

UC Davis police encourage anyone with information about this crime or the whereabouts of the distillation column to contact them at 530-752-1727.


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