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...

The New Relationship Between Farmer and Distiller

The New Relationship Between Farmer and Distiller

The modern distilling boom is creating a unique opportunity for farmers and businesses involved in grain production. In Pennsylvania, distilling is growing by leaps and bounds, but the raw material for making whiskey is grain and many distillers just don’t know much about it. They know they want rye for rye whiskey, for instance, but where are they supposed to get it? What is the difference between Danko and Aroostok? Is it non-GMO? Do I buy it directly from a farmer or a grain merchant? It’s not just the distillers, either. The farmers are also beginning to see a demand for small grains, but don’t quite know how to approach distillers. I’ve been learning a lot about  just how much of Pennsylvania’s distilling tradition has been lost. Pennsylvania was once a huge...

GMOs and Whiskey

GMOs and Whiskey

There’s been a lot of discussion about GMO’s and whiskey lately. I can’t say that I’m surprised by all the anxiety. It’s a hot topic without even bringing whiskey into the conversation. Quite a few distilleries only use non-GMO corn in their mashes (Buffalo Trace, Four Roses, Wild Turkey). They don’t really advertise this fact, though. I’m not so sure that those distilleries can be positive about whether or not the corn they buy hasn’t been cross-pollinated by neighboring fields, anyway. That being said, in FACT, any genetic material that might go into your whiskey would be removed entirely by the distillation process. My question is, what makes a superior corn mash? Would a person in 2015 be able to tell the...