EP 19-Bourbon, the Spirit of America, and Corn's Deep Roots in Kentucky

April 28, 2021

EP 19-Bourbon, the Spirit of America, and Corn's Deep Roots in Kentucky

Apr 28, 2021

Jon visits the Frazier Kentucky History Museum bourbon exhibit and hears from an 8th generation master distiller.

 

Bourbon is a uniquely American beverage.

 

Not only is its heritage deeply rooted in early Appalachian history, but up to two-and-a-half pounds of corn go into every bottle that’s distilled.

 

So in this episode of the podcast, we’re going on the road with Jon as he pays a visit to the Frazier Kentucky History Museum in Louisville. There, in the midst of the exhibit on bourbon, we’ll learn about the unique way that corn farming contributed to the history of this singular beverage from museum president and CEO Andy Treinen.

 

We'll also follow the crop from kernel to kettle to bottle with 8th generation master distiller Jacob Call from Green River Distilling.

And we'll explore how the corn industry and bourbon celebrate their shared history together from Laura Knoth and Adam Andrews from the Kentucky Corn Grower's Association.

 

 

 
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TRANSCRIPT

 

Andy Treinen:

Bourbon is America's only native spirit. 95% of it is made in Kentucky. And 100% of the good stuff is made in Kentucky.

 

Andy Treinen:

And that's because of the farmers, that's because of the corn.

 

Jacob Call:

Our spec is number two corn but we get number one corn, because that's what they make. So we've just got some superstar farmers.

 

Dusty Weis:

Hello, and welcome to Wherever Jon May Roam, the National Corn Growers Association podcast. This is where leaders, growers, and stakeholders in the corn industry can turn for big-picture conversations about the state of the industry and its future. I'm Dusty Weis, and I'll be introducing your host, association CEO, Jon Doggett. You can join Jon every month as he travels the country on a mission to advocate for America's corn farmers. From the fields of the corn belt to the DC beltway, we'll make sure that the growers who feed America have a say in the issues that are important to them with key leaders who are shaping the future of agriculture. Bourbon is a uniquely American beverage. Not only is its heritage deeply rooted in early Appalachian history, but up to two and a half pounds of corn go into every bottle that's distilled.

 

Dusty Weis:

And so in this episode of the podcast, we're going on the road with Jon, as he pays a visit to the Frazier Kentucky History Museum in Louisville. There, in the midst of the exhibit on bourbon, we'll hear from an eighth generation master distiller and explore how the corn industry and bourbon can celebrate their shared history together. But if you haven't yet, make sure you're subscribed to this podcast in your favorite app. Also make sure you follow the NCGA on Twitter @nationalCorn, and sign up for the National Corn Growers Association newsletter at ncga.com. With that, it's time to once again introduce Jon. Jon Doggett the CEO of the National Corn Growers Association. Jon we've talked a lot on this podcast about the many different uses for corn. I don't think that there's corn product that gets people quite as fired up as good old fashioned American bourbon. Certainly it's a topic that I've been looking forward to covering since we launched the show.

 

Jon Doggett:

It's taken us a while to get here. COVID has delayed everything for everybody, but when you come to Kentucky, you think about Kentucky basketball, you think about horses, and we're here today to talk about the thing people probably most readily identify that's a part of Kentucky--and that's bourbon. I can't imagine a better place to have this podcast than here in the heart of bourbon country in Kentucky. We are in Louisville, and we are at the museum of bourbon. We have our first guest Museum president and CEO, Andy Treinen, who also creates and hosts much of the museum's bourbon-related programming. Andy, I understand this beautiful museum is the first stop on the Bourbon Trail.

 

Andy Treinen:

Well, first of all welcome, great to have all of you here. The Frazier History Museum is where the world meets Kentucky. Kentucky is all about bourbon. We're also the official starting point of the Kentucky Bourbon Trail. And that means basically three things. Number one, we have a concierge service downstairs in our welcome center, and it is to help people manage their Kentucky Bourbon Trail experience, because there are so many distillers and there's a lot of time and a lot of money that can be spent. So we really helped to curate everyone's experience.

 

Andy Treinen:

The second thing is this gorgeous multimillion dollar bourbon exhibit that we're sitting in right here. And it's about the category of bourbon and why Kentucky owns bourbon. Why 95% of the bourbon in the world is made here in Kentucky. Then the third thing is that, bourbon programming, where I get to host different master distillers from all the different brands and we taste things that people normally don't get an opportunity to taste. And we tell stories like this behind the curtain, kind of some things that people don't normally get to hear.

 

Jon Doggett:

Also joining us today from Owensboro, Kentucky is Jacob Call. He is the master distiller at Green River Distilling, that's the fourth largest independent bourbon distillery in the world. And I would guess, you know a little bit about distilling because it's been in your family for a long, long time. Tell us about that, Jacob, and tell us about what you do at Green River.

 

Jacob Call:

Thank you all for having me on the show today. It's a privilege to be here. So yeah, I am the master distiller and general manager for the Green River Distillery down in Owensboro, Kentucky. My family has been in the bourbon business for a very long time, and we actually date back to 1791 back in Bourbon County, Kentucky. So, yep, we know a little bit about making bourbon down in Owensboro.

 

Jon Doggett:

I always liked talking to folks who have been in a profession or an industry for a number of generations, because that's so important to our farmers. You talk to a farmer and they'll say, I'm a third-generation farmer, fifth-generation farmer, whatever. So thank you for doing that, because it's just so neat that people pick up on something and it becomes an integral part of not only their life, but the life of their family. Thanks so much for being here, look forward to the conversation. Finally, representing the interest of the growers who power this industry in this great state, Executive Director of the Kentucky Corn Growers, Laura Knoth, and Adam Andrews, the program director. Welcome, thanks so much. And this is just a neat thing. Tell us about Kentucky Corn, tell us about your involvement in the bourbon business, not just on the consumption side. And then tell us a little bit about how have you got involved in this museum.

 

Laura Knoth:

Absolutely. Thank you Jon. Also glad to have you all here talking about one of our favorite uses for corn and especially Kentucky corn. It's such a unique market for our growers and we've been excited to be participants with the majority of our distilleries here in the state, obviously supplying them with the corn that they need for what we consider to be one of the finest products made from corn. Our history of bourbon is so special here. We have enjoyed our relationship with the Frazier History Museum, as they built this program, this project, it talks about Kentucky agriculture and Kentucky bourbon, and we were proud to partner with them, because they highlighted the real nature of the industry here in our state, and the impact that it has on corn production and the economy that it creates for our state. So we were proud to partner with them and our board members that were excited. They were able to provide information about how their farms have been providing corn to the bourbon industry for generations as well.

 

Jon Doggett:

That's pretty cool. Adam?

 

Adam Andrews:

From me as well, thank you for coming down. Thank you for putting this on your tour of, Wherever Jon May Roam. I've been excited and enjoyed seeing the bourbon industry grow in Kentucky over the last decade or so, just Rickhouses popping up everywhere, direct relationships with farms and distilleries, and our availability, our ability to bring bourbon to the corn pack every year and dissipate as the nation spokesperson from a corn perspective for bourbon. And it's overwhelming sometimes.

 

Jon Doggett:

Tough job there.

 

Adam Andrews:

Tough job, but it's a very high-profile use of corn. And it's an easy way to start a good conversation with consumers and people who are interested. Because agriculture sometimes is losing its connection with society, as we become more urban and things like that. This is still something that is easily identifiable with consumers and a great platform for good conversations.

 

Jon Doggett:

That's so important. If they can have that touchpoint on one part of the industry, you can draw concentric circles around that and have all sorts of great conversations and discussions. By the way, before we go any further, I do have to mention that Adam and Laura and I, all share a common background, we all work for farm bureau. They work for Kentucky Farm Bureau, I work with the American Farm Bureau. I remember years and year ago, I was sent out to Kentucky and they said, "You're going to go on this tour. And this young woman..." I think she was just out of high school, "... Will take you around."

 

Laura Knoth:

Back in early '90s.

 

Jon Doggett:

Was back in the '90s.

 

Laura Knoth:

'90s.

 

Jon Doggett:

Yeah. When you graduated. It was one of the best weeks I had at the American Farm Bureau. We went from one end of the state to the other, and we went to your family's place. And that was a lot of fun. Then of course, after a while, Adam showed up and I got to know him. So then we all went to corn together too. It's kind of neat.

 

Adam Andrews:

Yeah. Our tenures at farm bureau overlapped about six months, that was National Affairs Director of Kentucky. And my first congressional tour, Laura was my boss. The latter time that I was there at farm bureau, but first congressional tour, you were the very first update for our group, and it was on the RFS as it was just coming out in early 2004.

 

Jon Doggett:

Boy, that's a long time ago.

 

Dusty Weis:

Jon, we have yet to meet anybody in the course of this podcast that doesn't have a story like that about you though. So they just keep coming.

 

Jon Doggett:

The nice thing about it is, so far they have all kept the stories to be the reasonable and rational ones that I don't get embarrassed over. All right. Moving along, the common thread that is woven through all of your comments, it's a heritage here, this is a heritage thing. So much of agriculture it's heritage, it's not only what the dad do, but what my grandparents and my great-grandparents and my great, great grandparents do. Jacob, talk about, what is it not only to your family, but where do you see that replicated with other people in the industry, and how important is that to your connection with consumers?

 

Jacob Call:

Yeah. We take a lot of pride being from Kentucky, being an eighth-generation Kentucky, and also an eighth-generation farmer myself in Kentucky. I think a lot of the master distillers in the industry, there's just a lot of state pride that we share, good comradery with everyone. We're proud to represent Kentucky to the world. We're kind of the spokespeople for this great state. So it's part of our job we think.

 

Dusty Weis:

Being an eighth-generation master distiller, was there ever any doubt in your mind growing up that that was what you were going to do? Did you ever go to your dad and be like, "I think I want to be a firefighter."

 

Jacob Call:

Actually I went to Murray State down in Western Kentucky, and my first job, I was actually a banker for a while. My dad was like, "Now, you're going to go get some other experience, first." Nothing should be given in this world anyway. So first job was a banker and I had all of the less glamorous jobs in college, worked on the bottling line and fermentation. And we had a cattle ranch that was actually a Florida distillers for awhile. We had a cattle ranch down in Florida, took care of all our cows and fed our byproducts to our cattle. When talk about that a little bit later, that's one of our other ways that we touch agriculture and Kentucky is with our by-product.

 

Jon Doggett:

Andy, let's start at the beginning. Why did we start making bourbon? And why do we start making bourbon in Kentucky of all places?

 

Andy Treinen:

You mentioned Jon, that heritage, we like to describe it as authenticity. When Congress in 1964 said that bourbon is America's only native spirit, and people often say, "Bourbon has to be made in Kentucky." That's not true, it has to be made in America. 95% of it is made in Kentucky, and 100% of the good stuff is made in Kentucky. That's because of the farmers, that's because of the corn. It started back, there were a lot of rye distillers that came from the East and they were incentivized by government to move West and to plant corn and to build a structure. With that, they were given 400 acres of land. Distillers, generally use what product is the best in that area as the primary product in what it is that they're distilling in the state of Kentucky, that is corn. It was called the Corn Patch and Cabin Right's Act that gave folks 400 acres when they moved to the Kentucky area, that wasn't called Kentucky at the time. And they grew some corn and build a little structure.

 

Jon Doggett:

That's interesting. My family came from Virginia to this state about that time. Now nobody talks about whether they made whiskey or not, but-

 

Andy Treinen:

They're all making whiskey.

 

Jon Doggett:

I'm sure they were all making whiskey.

 

Andy Treinen:

But there was some policy behind it, I think is the important thing, and we are rich with corn in the state of Kentucky.

 

Jon Doggett:

Continue with that Andy. Why is it called bourbon?

 

Andy Treinen:

Well, there are a lot of different accounts of that, and I don't know that anybody has completely nailed it.

 

Jon Doggett:

What's your favorite version of this?

 

Andy Treinen:

I think it probably comes from what was Bourbon County, which was a lot bigger than Bourbon County now. The barrels were stamped with Bourbon County and shipped down the river and ended up in New Orleans. And people started saying, "Send us more of that bourbon whiskey from Bourbon County." After that, bourbon is in the barrel and on the river for an undetermined amount of time and into and out of the wood, it gets better. People love what the wood does to it, and that gives it a most of its color, most of its flavor. And they were getting a product down there that was different than when it was put in the barrel here, and they desired more and they said, "Send us more bourbon." That's my favorite account.

 

Dusty Weis:

For the uneducated, when we're talking about bourbon, all bourbon is a whiskey, but not all whiskey is a bourbon. So what makes it a bourbon per se?

 

Andy Treinen:

Well, there are very clear definitions. First of all, it has to be made in the United States of America, and it has to be distilled at no more than 160 proof. It has to be bottled at no more than 125 proof. Corn is the secret recipe, it has to have as a mash bill more than 51% corn. It has to be aged in new oak barrels. Outside of those things, it is not bourbon. There's no, obviously, and I think most of your listeners know this, but there's nothing added to bourbon, you can't add any flavor, you can't add any color. The only thing that changes the nuance of what is distilled is how long it spends in those barrels and what happens in the barrels by the variance of temperature and time.

 

Jon Doggett:

Jacob Call, master distiller at Green River Distilling, talk about the process from the farm to the glass.

 

Jacob Call:

Sure. It all starts with grain. What we do is we'll go out and we contract our corn really on an annual basis. We buy direct from the farmer under contract. Multiple farmers in our area, all Kentucky corn, very important for us to buy Kentucky corn, and we test that corn. So the trucks arrive on our site, we have grain bins, we test it for bushel way, for moisture, for material, and most importantly for us, odor. We don't want any kind of off odor notes in our corn because it'll carry through the entire process. If you have musty corn, you'll have musty bourbon four or five years later. So we mill that grain, we mill it to a flour type consistency. We also use rye and malted barley in our recipes, sometimes we use wheat, we do buy Kentucky wheat also.

 

Jacob Call:

From that point, we'll take that grain, we add water and we cook it. We heat it up to around 212 degrees and that's going to break all the starch down. Then we cool it to 148, and we add our malted barley. And the malt has a natural enzyme that's going to convert the starch to sugar. At that point we cool it again, we send it to fermentation where we add yeast, we have a proprietary yeast blend that we use. In fermentation the yeast are going to eat the sugar, they're going to turn it into alcohol. It's going to be about an 8% alcohol year at that point.

 

Jacob Call:

From there, we will distill that beer, so we're going to strip the alcohol out of the grain. It's going to ferment for about a three-day process. When we start distilling, we distill about 300 barrels a day at our facility, and we go through two distillations. We do first initial distillation of 120 proof and our beer still, we have a 54 inch beer still. Then from there we distill it a second time in our copper doubler at 138 proof. From there, we cut it to a 120 and we barrel it at 120 proof. Then that's where it goes and soaks up some of that magical Kentucky climate that makes great Kentucky bourbon whiskey.

 

Jon Doggett:

One of the things about the climate is, it cold, hot, cold, hot makes the bourbon move around through the barrel, and that's what gives it the taste.

 

Jacob Call:

Yeah. So in Kentucky we have all four seasons sometimes in the same day, it seems like. And yeah, the bourbon is moving in and out of that barrel, the barrel acts as a filter. So all of the color from the bourbon will come from the barrel, starts out clear, and then it just gets darker as it ages in that barrel. And then age is differently on different floors or levels of your warehouse. Your upper floors get a lot hotter, so you'll have a higher proof product, it'll age a little bit faster. Your lower floors, a little bit slower maturation, kind of like scotch. So your ten-year-old stuff, 18-year-old stuff will be on your lower levels generally.

 

Jon Doggett:

I didn't realize that there was a difference in where you put the barrel in the warehouse, that's cool.

 

Jacob Call:

Yeah. There's all sorts of nuances that go into it.

 

Laura Knoth:

This is what's so great about being able to talk with folks like Jacob Call who is a master distiller and being able to hear him explain the magic. I mean the Bourbon Trail is so fascinating because of being able to go through the distillery and see how that happens. Tours happen all the time every day and you can see that process, but to hear somebody like Jacob describe it, that's a treat.

 

Jon Doggett:

Doing a little studying before we did the podcast, it's a real simple, complex process. It just takes grain, water, oak barrel, little yeast, little malt barley. It's easy, but it isn't.

 

Dusty Weis:

Till as old as time there. But Andy, before, when you were describing sort of the ABCs of what constitutes a bourbon, it hasn't always been done that way, it hasn't always been so regimented. There was a time there when making bourbon in Kentucky was a little bit Wild West. Can you tell us about that and how did the federal government step in and intervene there to save Kentucky bourbon?

 

Andy Treinen:

Yeah. It's an interesting question because the first-ever government policy on any product, any food, anything, was whiskey. The Bottled-in-Bond Act guaranteed that what you were getting was safe, and what you thought you were buying. Before that, production was done into big barrels and people did all kinds of things to try to maximize their profits. So there could be tobacco juice in there, there could be different flavorings and colorings. And so the government stepped in with the Bottled-in-Bond Act to make sure that, that was a safe product, and that what you bought was in a bottled. Forester was the first ever to actually bottle bourbon, as opposed to getting it in a jug at the saloon.

 

Dusty Weis:

I wouldn't mind getting some bourbon in a jug to be honest.

 

Andy Treinen:

True. You just want to even through consumer protection, you want to make sure you're getting good, safe bourbon. Obviously during prohibition, there were all kinds of speaking of the Wild Wild West, everything got cut loose again. And it helped to tell the story of why regulation of these products is important. Otherwise you end up with unsafe products and people walking around with jag leg and crime, unintended consequences of prohibition was crime boosted big time.

 

Jon Doggett:

But Dusty see me after Neil turns the cameras off.

 

Laura Knoth:

Well in here in the museum, you can see some examples of the older bottles and the way they looked. Andy's got quite a collection of some of the old stuff, it's fascinating.

 

Andy Treinen:

Thank you. My favorite bottle in there is an old Forester bottled in 1896, and it looks like it was bottled yesterday. It is clean and looks like an outstanding product, but then there are some other ones that have turned and there are some variances certainly in a lot of those bottles. But it's again, it's that authentic story and why we're sitting here in Kentucky telling this story this morning at the official starting point of the Kentucky Bourbon Trail. It starts with these natural products, corn, the most important of them, and ends up with something that whether you are a consumer or whether you drink bourbon or not, most people in Kentucky are proud of the fact that this is Kentucky's authentic story.

 

Jon Doggett:

Laura, you and I have talked in the past about the pride that so many your growers have in producing corn for this industry. How has that evolved over the last 10, 15, 20 years?

 

Laura Knoth:

We're just so excited to see the growth in the bourbon industry. It has just really taken off, and like Jacob was describing, they want the best quality corn they can get to make the best quality bourbon. And so our growers, many of them have generations that have delivered direct to distilleries across the state and, they're proud of that. And it's something they're proud to make sure that we produce about a million and a half acres and 200 and something million bushels. About 20 million of those go to the distilling industry in this state. We're proud of every one of them and those farmers are too. So they know it's got to be the top quality to deliver to the distillery. It's a specialty market and they're proud of it.

 

Jon Doggett:

Jacob Call, tell us what is the mash bill? And how do we pay it?

 

Jacob Call:

The mash bill is the recipe. It's the recipe that we use to make bourbon. As was mentioned earlier, it has to have at least 51% corn in the recipe or the mash bill. We run a variety of mash bills. Sort of our go-to is a 70% corn, 21% rye and 9% malted barley. And we run higher corn mash bills, we run a 78% corn, and the corn portion of that gives it a lot of the sweetness. So the sweetness from bourbon comes from the corn, the spice and the pepper notes will come from the rye, and then the malt do get some of those creamier notes from the malted barley, but that's really used also as an enzyme conversion to convert that starch to sugar. A lot of different distilleries run different mash bills, but generally speaking, there'll be in the 70% corn to 78% corn on average.

 

Jon Doggett:

When you're at that 70, 75% corn in the mash bill, let's see, there's 53 gallons in a barrel?

 

Jacob Call:

Yeah.

 

Jon Doggett:

How many bushel, does that represent?

 

Jacob Call:

That'd be about nine bushels, roughly for a barrel, depending on the ratio in the mash bill.

 

Jon Doggett:

Okay. Laura, they make the bourbon, what else do they make and why is that important to this state?

 

Laura Knoth:

Absolutely. What's great about the bourbon being a use for corn is, they get the sugar and turn that into bourbon. And then the crushed grain, the spent grain, the stillage I think some of them call it different things, but the distillers grains are what is left from the product. They've taken all the sugar out of it, but it leaves all the protein and all the carbs are left there for one of the best feed products that you could have. So dried distillers grains, a lot of folks who are in ethanol world understand that DDGs. Well, it originally came from the bourbon industry, distillers grains. And so that is used for livestock feed as well. One of the great things that Jacob does is he uses some of his in livestock. His operation is very diverse, the Green River Distilling Company is, they're out there, they're quite a bit on the cutting edge of a lot of production and a lot of usage. So distiller's grains are an important product from the distilling industry.

 

Jacob Call:

It has been for decades and decades, livestock producers around Central Kentucky had been using distillers grains before ethanol industry really introduced it in the Midwest. There were 150 dairies in each county years ago. And the bourbon industry was integral to their feeding schedules, feeding rations.

 

Dusty Weis:

California claims to have the happiest cows around. But I can't imagine a happier cow than one that's just nom and down some bourbon mash.

 

Jacob Call:

A lot of distilleries, they have big dryer houses where they'll make those DDGs, dry those grain. Some of the midsize ones like us, we don't have a dryer house, so we have what we call whole stillage and we give that away to farmers for cattle feed. We've got about 50 or so local farmers that we provide that free cattle feed to. We also have about a thousand acre farm that we own ourselves and outside of Owensboro, We have our own cattle that we feed, our stillage too. So we touch agriculture in a lot of different ways.

 

Andy Treinen:

It's interesting. One of the that's one of many aftermarket products that the bourbon industry has given birth to. The other are these barrels we talk about, for a bourbon barrel, it has to be never used before. Now, all the other less superior products all around the world like rum and tequila and scotch are using our old bourbon barrels because they can use them a second, a third and a fourth time. But for Kentucky bourbon first-time barrels only. So those barrels are actually worth more after they're used than they often are paid for in the first time around.

 

Jon Doggett:

I know I've bought a few of those and I think probably everybody's bought a few of those over the years. So that's interesting, you only use it one time. Adam Andrews, program director for Kentucky Corn. Talk about what's unique to Kentucky, the soil structure, the soil types. How does Kentucky corn fit into the Kentucky bourbon business from the seed to the finished product?

 

Adam Andrews:

Best way to describe our soil type is diverse. You can cross a field into half a dozen soil types. We don't have very square fields influenced by a lot of waterways, we've got the largest number of stream miles in Continental United States in our state. One thing that I don't know if it's been brought up quite yet, the limestone. We've got a very high limestone content, that's one thing that makes bourbon very unique. And it's one reason that the bourbon production was settled here, because we can start with limestone water and the unique filtration process and taste of limestone. The difficult corners of the field and things like that, make it a challenge to produce corn sometimes compared to some our more Midwestern counterparts. The implementation of precision technology is much more difficult here. You have to have segments set off much more quickly, or you're going to overlap on a finger of a field and things like that.

 

Adam Andrews:

So yeah, a lot of the technology to develop a precision technology, precision application back in the '90s, early 2000s was developed here in Kentucky because we were the most difficult. That guy that developed that was hired off to another state but, we've had a lot of unique challenges. It's, not as simple here sometimes. Well, John McGillicutty laughs that everybody accuses him of being able to spill a bag of seed corn and make 200 bushels in Iowa. And he laughs and says, "We can spill seed corn on concrete and make 200 bushels." And we have challenges, we have to deal with slopes. No till was invented here, we say. Some other folks try to claim that, but we know what happened. And a lot of our state is no till. In the '90s and the upper '90s at some points, I think some minimum till practices have taken a couple of those percentage points, but it's a very unique state to produce corn in.

 

Jon Doggett:

Again and again, where we're talking about relationships from the farmer to the distiller, to the consumer. Laura, what's the relationship between the folks you represent and the folks in the distillery business, in this state?

 

Laura Knoth:

The relationships between our growers and distillery are always unique. And we've laughed over time that every distillery, just Jacob, just so you know, we consider you all a little bit of a cagey crew, a little bit of a cagey banch, you don't like to share any secrets. You don't tell growers exactly what you're looking for, but you know it when you see it. What's exciting about that is it has given our young farmers in this state some great opportunities, because they're willing to go the extra mile, especially to develop a relationship. And so where they're wanting to bring that into the operation where their dad's like, "Yeah, it's tough to sell those distilleries." That's a great challenge for our young farmers. It has given a lot of our young guys some greater opportunities than they would have had otherwise.

 

Jon Doggett:

Jacob Call, how do you view that relationship and what makes it so special and unique for you folks?

 

Jacob Call:

I think we have a great relationship with the corn farmers. We try to work together on projects and different things. We've got some heirloom varieties that we work on, white corn, blue, corn, organic corn. We experiment, a lot of experimentation right now in the bourbon industry. But, for me down in Western Kentucky, it's very comforting to know that we grow some of the best corn in the state. We have very fertile soils down with the Green River and Ohio River in that area. Our spec is number two corn, but we get number one corn because that's what they make. So we just got some superstar farmers down in our part of the state.

 

Jon Doggett:

Well, it's certainly fitting that a beverage that's meant to be enjoyed with friends has such a neat history about bringing people together in other ways. It's a pleasure to be here, to sit with you here at the Frazier Kentucky History Museum, and learn about the history of bourbon. But coming up next month, we're going to continue this discussion. We're going to look at bourbon's present and its future. So you'll have to tune in again, next time for the rest of this conversation. Thank you so much to Andy Treinen, Frazier Museum president and CEO, Jacob Call master distiller at Green River Distilling, Laura Knoth and Adam Andrews from the Kentucky Corn Growers Association. I'm Jon Doggett. I'm the CEO of the National Corn Growers Association. Thanks for listening and tune in again, for another episode of Wherever Jon May Roam.

 

Dusty Weis:

That is going to wrap up this edition of Wherever Jon May Roam the National Corn Growers Association podcast. New episodes arrived monthly, so make sure to subscribe on your favorite app and join us again soon. Visit ntga.com to learn more, or sign up for the associations email newsletter. Wherever Jon May Roam is brought to you by the National Corn Growers Association with editing by Larry Kilgore III, and produced by Podcamp Media, random podcast production for businesses, podcampmedia.com. For the National Corn Growers Association, thanks for listening, I'm Dusty Weis.

 

 

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