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...

Meadow Brook Farms in Lehigh County

Meadow Brook Farms in Lehigh County

“To be interested in food and not food production is clearly absurd.” -Wendell Berry I believe the same can be said of whiskey and grain production. I had an opportunity to meet with Nevada Mease, a young, entrepreneurial Lehigh Valley farmer back in September, 2016.  I was incredibly impressed with the farm and all the efforts on behalf of Meadow Brook Farms to embrace new, organic practices in their farming. The farm itself is beautiful and nestled into wooded acreage along the outskirts of the property. It’s built into the side of a hill with the barn and storage facilities higher up above the stone farm house.  Animals were grazing in the fields, and Nevada was making plans to get his winter crops laid down in the fields. Meadow Brook Farm is one...

American Whiskey Convention

American Whiskey Convention

I’m so excited to be a part of the American Whiskey Convention in Philadelphia.  The Dram Devotees of Bucks County will have a booth at the event and we will enjoy every minute of it! The event is designed to celebrate American whiskeys in all stages of production and beyond.  It starts with the farmers and the maltsters.  There will be grain farmers present to explain the importance of sustainable grain agriculture and farming practices within the state.  Pennsylvania actually boasts a malting house with a honest to goodness malting floor!  Deer Creek Malthouse is in Glen Mills, Pa and they are sticklers for grain quality, buying only the healthiest local grains.  They will be there at their own booth amongst local distillers that use their products....

Jim Murray’s World Whisky of the Year for 2016 goes to…

Jim Murray’s World Whisky of the Year for 2016 goes to…

So the news is out that Crown Royal’s Northern Harvest Rye was named the 2016 World Whisky of the Year by renowned whiskey writer Jim Murray. This news will most definitely affect sales for Crown Royal, but it may affect a bit more. Rye whiskey is making a comeback all over North America! Let’s be clear that the term “rye” does not carry the same definition in Canada as it does in the U.S. We know rye whiskey, here in America, to mean that at least 51% of the mashbill is made of rye grains. Original styles of rye whiskey grew out of Pennsylvania and Maryland and were crafted based upon which surplus grains farmers from those regions accumulated after their harvests. In Canada, the original style of whiskey produced there was made of wheat. Early in Canada’s...

Mash Bills in America

Did you know that mash bills are really only used in American whiskey production? American distilleries refer to the proportions of grains used as their “mash bill”. There are quite a few distinct styles of traditional American Whiskeys. Pennsylvania style ryes traditionally carry over 80% rye in their mash bills. Traditional Maryland style ryes are closer to 60% rye, balancing the mash bill with corn and a small amount of malted barley. (George Washington’s original rye whiskey from Mt. Vernon was 60% rye, 35% corn and 5% malted barley.) Bourbon, called “America’a spirit”, is at least 51% corn and is flavored with either rye or wheat grains and a small amount of malted barley. Corn whiskey is at least 80% corn, usually more. These traditional mash bills grew...