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Bloody Butcher Corn

Distilling Rosen Rye at George Washington’s Mount Vernon Distillery

This was a crisp fall Sunday morning. You could barely see the fog of your breath after sipping the hotel cup of coffee. A few of the collaborators had mustered for breakfast. Grabbing bagels, pieces of fruit and whatever else would travel quick and light. Fueling up for the long days journey that lie ahead. Some had barely gotten more than 4 hours sleep from the previous days activities. The sun began illuminating the golden leaves that still clung to their branches. There was an electricity that filled the atmosphere. Anticipation consumed the one mile trek up the winding hill to where the old mill and the distillery stand. It was difficult to adhere to the posted speed limit. Speedily pulling into the parking lot. Hurrying to get out of the car. Gear in hand. We have been here before. But, this time the beast began to come to life.

The walk was familiar. The same familiar pathway. Familiar faces greeted us as we entered the dimly lit distillery. George Washington’s Mount Vernon Distillery still runs on natural light. Sunlight beamed through every window to reveal the magic that was taking place. Sounds of buckets being filled. Wood being stacked neatly next to the stills. Five in all. Named after queens. There was a hive of well orchestrated activity. Mash tons being emptied into buckets. Stills being filled being filled with fermented Keystone Rosen Rye and heirloom corn. Fires being lit. Steam rising from the tubs. Fresh water being diverted from the mill to be used to cool the hot distillate. More wood being carted in. An empty mash tun being turned onto its side and rolled out the door to be cleaned and prepared for the next ferment. The crackle of the fire and the smoke from the wood was a distinct education of how whiskey was made back in the 1700’s. Everyone there was playing a role and focused intently on making history and history come alive.

Steve Bashore drove a big box truck up to Imler, PA. Robert and Sherri McDonald of Dancing Star Farm had 11,000 pounds of grain waiting to be picked up and milled for distilling. The catalyst for this historic event took place between a conversation with Steve and Laura Fields of The Delaware Valley Fields Foundation. Laura loves whiskey, history and promoting heirloom grains and the farmers that grow them. She asked if GWMV would want to run Rosen Rye. Of course Steve was more than happy to make that happen.

Steve got to work planning, organizing and assembling an all-star team to put it all together, people of like mind who love history and distilling. They all came together to create whiskey and retell the story and produce a new one. The sense of camaraderie came through. Of course, having a game plan was helpful. Everyone worked together with a sense of pride. Thomas and Kim Bard came all of the way from Graham, KY, leaving The Bard Distillery for a few days to assist in distilling. Erik and Jim Wolfe, who are no strangers to Rosen, brought their experience and expertise. Stoll and Wolfe Distillery distilled Rosen just 2 years earlier. Lisa Roper Wicker, of Widow Jane, focused on the process as the stills began to offer their sweet and fruity distillate. Lisa has been a familiar face at GWMV since the very beginning. Aleasha Monroe is the head distiller at West Overton. They just released a Monongahela Style Rye and she brought her knowledge and skill. The Mount Vernon team brought it all together.

The Rosen is being distilled with Orange Creole and Bloody Butcher Corn. Time will tell if the juice will be bottled separately or together. It will rest in barrels from Kelvin Cooperage, Speyside Cooperage in Virgina, and a very special barrel made from a 240 year oak tree that fell at Mount Vernon 3 years ago. There is great anticipation for some bottles of the white spirit to be offered. This will provide a prelude of things to come. Whiskey and history lovers alike have so much to look forward to. George Washington’s Mount Vernon Distillery is moving into the future while retaining the roots of the past.

Listen to our interviews as we reflect on this historic event.

Part 1:

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Episode 75 – Olde Bedford Brewing Company – Dave and Mary Heller

This episode features Dave Heller and Mary Heller of Olde Bedford Brewing Company.

Mary purchased Dave a Mr. Beer Kit.  The first foray into home brewing was a success.  To Mary’s surprise, it quickly developed from a hobby into an addiction to home brew.    She thought that this would entertain Dave for a couple of months and he would move on.  She had no idea that 7 years later that all of it would turn into a business.  Olde Bedford Brewing is their “retirement job”.  They even grow their own hops on their ranch.  Quickly they developed followers of their beer and the brewery began to blossom from there.  Passion drives the grain to glass philosophy.  “Join the Whiskey Rebellion… drink beer” is their slogan.  We had a tremendous time sitting down with Dave and Mary on the podcast.  We learned so much about the history of Bedford, beer and the brewery.  Take a side trip off the PA Turnpike and go visit them.  You’ll be glad that you did.  

Brewscuits is the sponsor of the podcast.  Be sure to check them out at www.brewscuits.com.  Type in Fermented Adventure at checkout to get 15% off your first order.

109 Railroad St, Bedford, PA 15522 –(907) 229-7942 www.oldebbc.com Facebook

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Highlights from our discussion:

Bedford Springs Resort

PA Farm ShowDancing Star Farms

Whiskey Rebellion

Bedford County Business Development

Bishop Guilfoyle

Penn State Hops Program

Mr. Beer Kit

American Whiskey Convention

Rosen Rye

Wholesome Living Marketplace

Fat Jimmy’s Bike Shop

Cannondale Bikes

Bedford Jeep

U.S. Navy

George Washington’s Mount Vernon Distillery

Delaware Valley Fields Foundation

Full Kilt Band

Big Spring Spirits

Episode 31 – Liberty Pole Spirits – Jim Hough

This episode features Jim Hough of Liberty Pole Spirits.   Jim started it all on his back deck as a “hobby distiller”.  Jim made whiskey and experimented with different grains and recipes.  These have become the foundation of what goes into the barrels today.  Jim, Ellen and the entire family have come together to produce some incredible and creative whiskey.  They demonstrate the Whiskey Rebellion Spirit that put the small town of Washington on the map.   68 West Maiden Street, Washington, PA 15301info@mingocreekcraftdistillers.com724-503-4014 –  On Facebook

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and more…

Highlights from our discussion:

Whiskey Rebellion Festival

Mingo Creek Society

Liberty Poles

Alexander Hamilton

Dad’s Hat

Wiggle

Red Pump Spirits

Barrel 21 Distillery

Thistle Finch

David Bradford House

Monongahela Rye

Whiskey Advocate

Maggie’s Farm Rum

Cheers!!!

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