SeedSpark: Connecting Farmers to Distillers

SeedSpark: Connecting Farmers to Distillers

There is a non-profit in Pennsylvania that is trying to help farmers make a profit.  The Delaware Valley Fields Foundation, founded by Bucks County resident Laura Fields, is working to create new opportunities for local grain farmers. About 5 years ago, Ms. Fields recognized there was a change happening in Pennsylvania politics that would benefit local farmers.  An “old-made-new-again” industry is returning to Pennsylvania that has an immediate need for grain sources. That industry? Craft distilling. Ms. Fields and her non-profit want to see Pennsylvania grain farmers benefit directly from this new demand. Craft distilleries in Pennsylvania have grown from about 4 in 2010 to over 80 in 2018. This exponential growth provides a great deal of opportunity for local...

Does Terroir Influence Whiskey?

Does Terroir Influence Whiskey?

When a wine maker talks about what sets his/her wine apart from others, you can be sure terroir will be a part of their explanation. Terroir is “the complete natural environment in which a particular wine is produced, including factors such as the soil, topography, and climate.” So, the same grape varietal grown in southern France, when it is grown in the Napa Valley, will taste very different. The influence of the local vegetation, pollen, decomposed matter and mineral composition in the soil, morning dews, how many hours of sun and shade a location has, seasonal rainfall, among many other things, all affect the grape harvest every year.  The effect of the environment on the grapes will, of course, affect the flavor and scent of the wine that’s made from them. ...

An Opinion on Metallica’s Blackened American Whiskey

An Opinion on Metallica’s Blackened American Whiskey

So…Metallica has its own whiskey now. Ugh.   Everyone has their own whiskey, it seems. Nothing new, of course. Celebrity sells. There have been celebrities moving distilled products since advertising’s infancy. Beautiful people, famous people, successful people…from doctors recommending a brand to silver screen actresses insisting that a brand will make you irresistible…it’s all been done. Here are just a few modern celebrities selling booze- Matthew McConaughy- Wild Turkey and Longbranch Whiskey Mila Kunis- Jim Beam Christina Hendricks- Johnny Walker David Beckham- Haig Club Dan Aykroyd- Crystal Head Vodka Ryan Reynolds- Aviation Gin George Clooney- Casamigos Tequila (though I think he sold that) Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt- Miraval Rosé Drew Barrymore-...

A GMO Argument

A GMO Argument

I’ve been seeing a lot of articles lately about the use of GMO and non-GMO corn a lot lately.  I believe the conversation is usually a bit off the mark. (one example- https://daily.sevenfifty.com/bourbon-producers-consider-the-pros-and-cons-of-non-gmo-corn/) The vast majority of corn and soybeans grown in the US are genetically modified organisms, or GMO’s.  This means that the genes/traits of another organism (in most cases, genes from bacteria) have been inserted into that of the corn or soybeans to improve the plant’s ability to survive and prosper. This, in itself, is a great leap forward for science and its ability to improve sustainability of corn and soy crops. When you admire those corn and soy fields that are weed free, identically green, very close...

MGP Ingredients- The Distillery Prohibition Did Not Destroy

MGP Ingredients- The Distillery Prohibition Did Not Destroy

If you’re tasting a lot of whiskeys and considering where they come from, you’ll have already become familiar with MGP (Midwest Grain Products) Ingredients.  In most cases, you’ll have read an article about how hundreds of whiskeys on the market today are, in fact, distilled at MGP and that many of those companies are not honest about their whiskeys’ provenance.  In some cases, people cannot believe that a company that sells extracted starches, textured plant proteins and cleaning products could also make such great whiskey. I’m here to tell you, this is as American as apple pie. (Apple pie is originally European, too, by the way…We imported its recipe the same way we imported our distilling traditions.) To be clear, MGP Ingredients (also referred to by...