Core Values of Engineered Spirits
To assess the quality of something, a person typically assigns a value to it. This value doesn’t necessarily need to be money, but it usually costs something to get something. I would say that quality is important, but it is up to the provider of something to tell the world why it’s special.
The farm I grew up on is special. It has abundant natural resources that are as Nature intended them and we plan to keep it that way. We didn’t grow up using herbicides or pesticides on our crops. My mother and I were the herbicide and the pesticide. Getting up early to go out with her in the fields, pulling out the weeds, removing the tobacco worms by hand before it got too hot, or chopping down the thistles with shovels. It was work and it took time and a lot of energy, but it also had other benefits, like keeping me out of trouble. There is a quality of life that is special there, and we intend to keep that quality of work and life moving forward.
Quality ingredients make quality food and beverages. I like to know the provenance of the ingredients in anything I make. I’m pretty picky about vegetables and beef. If you have trained your eye to look for the characteristics of what makes good ingredients, half the product is already made. Our farm’s spring water has enough minerals to provide great nutrients for the yeasts we intend to use and a neutral pH. So it is of good quality. We may use UV lights to treat it, but we won’t add anything to it that would change the flavor, such as salts to manage hardness, or chlorine. And luckily, it runs all year.
We are always looking at ways to improve. But there are lines we won’t cross. We look forward to trying new methods to grow the ingredients we need without all the chemicals. Will it mean we have to grow 10% more so that Nature gets her share? Probably. But if we can protect the soil and water for the future, I guess that groundhog can have a couple ears of corn.