Alltech Crop Science sows seeds of sustainability for Town Branch Distillery
Alltech’s Town Branch Distillery will soon use non-GMO corn from a familiar local source: the Nicholasville farm of Alltech co-founder Mrs. Deirdre Lyons. Alltech’s crop science division is cultivating the plants using its own organic solutions to optimize yield and ensure a healthy harvest destined for use in bourbon and rye whiskeys.
“We are raising non-GMO corn that we can introduce into our bourbon production here in Kentucky,” said Mrs. Lyons. “Growing the corn on our own farm enables us to see this important bourbon and whiskey ingredient all the way through, from seed to sip.”
The corn crop forges a deeper connection between Alltech’s natural approach to agronomics and the production of its line of bourbons and whiskeys.
“Mrs. Lyons’ farm gives us a new opportunity to integrate our crop technologies into the production of our very own beverage products,” said Dr. Steve Borst, general manager of Alltech Crop Science. “The natural applications we’re using to prepare the soil will promote a healthy root system and enable the corn to uptake nutrients. By increasing yield, we can maximize the potential of every acre of her farm.”
To be classified as straight bourbon, whiskey must be distilled using a mixture of grains that is at least 51 percent corn. Town Branch Bourbon is 72 percent corn, requiring an average of 550 pounds of corn per one barrel of finished bourbon.
Once harvested in November, the corn will be used at Town Branch Distillery to produce Town Branch® Bourbon and Town Branch® Rye. The holistic synergy of farm, crop management and distillery is timely, given the growing consumer interest in locally sourced, non-GMO ingredients.
“Having our own local farm produce corn enhances our sustainability for Town Branch Bourbon and Town Branch Rye,” said Mark Coffman, master distiller at Town Branch Distillery. “It’s really special — and rare among distillers — to be able to craft these beverages from farm to bottle.”