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Jul 30, 2014

Your Favorite 'Craft' Whiskey is Likely Made in a Huge Factory

Huh. The Daily Beast shares that most bottles of 'craft' whiskey - those determined by branding using phrases like "small batch," "handcrafted," "artisanal," and always with a local designation, probably come from a huge, macro distillery in Southern Indiana.   This makes sense, of course. Kinda. Small upstart producers have to learn to distill, perfect their mashbills, and age for at least two years (probably more like four or seven,) before even having a finished product to try.

The truth lies in this paragraph:

Lawrenceburg, Indiana... is home to a massive brick complex that cranks out mega-industrial quantities of beverage-grade alcohol. The factory, once a Seagram distillery, has changed hands over the decades and was most recently acquired by food-ingredient corporation MGP. It is now a one-stop shop for marketers who want to bottle their own brands of spirits without having to distill the product themselves. MGP sells them bulk vodka and gin, as well as a large selection of whiskies, including bourbons of varying recipes, wheat whiskey, corn whiskey, and rye.... Their products are well-made, but hardly what one thinks of as artisanal. And yet, much of the whiskey now being sold as the hand-crafted product of micro-distilleries actually comes from this one Indiana factory.

It's a pretty fascinating look at the industry, and what it takes to make spirits in the US. Definitely worth a read: The artisan whiskey industry has a big secret—many of the ‘small-batch’ distillers are actually buying their product from a large factory in Indiana.

 

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