Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Farmers join micro-distillery boom by opening stills of their own, some called 'artisnal'

In the era of Prohibition, many farmers did extra (and illegal) business by distilling spirits. Now, many are getting back in the business, legally. Two years ago, the farm-based High Plains Liquor Co. was the first distillery in Kansas since Prohibition, but now it is just one of many rural operations starting to cash in on the micro-distillery boom, reports The New York Times.

Seth Fox (in photo by Ed Zurga for the Times) opened his distillery at the perfect time, reports Susan Saulny. "With its abundance of grain and fruit, the Midwest stands poised to capitalize on the confluence of trends unlike any other region and could, in time, come to rival California, currently the leader in small-scale distilling, experts said," she writes. "Small, private distilleries are opening at a rate of about 10 to 20 a year. There are about 100 across the country. Some are attached to wineries, restaurants and breweries, or, increasingly, are located on farms."

To capitalize on the boom, agricultural states are easing decades-old laws regarding distilleries, and the micro-distilleries — which offer products such pumpkin-infused vodka — are popping up in Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan and elsewhere. The products are not the only draw, Saulny writes, since the stills themselves have become tourist magnets. (Read more)

1 comment:

Dafydd23 said...

Good to see the return to pride of product as the basis of product development.

Thank for showing the value that is returning to "small", which could really be said as meaningful commitment to quality.