April 24, 2014
When we first started investigating farms that we wanted to buy grains from to make our spirits, corn was a major concern for us. Most corn grown these days is genetically modified. Some is organic, but a lot of that is grown by a faceless corporation. Neither of these options appealed to us. We really take “know your farmer” seriously. We also believe that sourcing excellent ingredients makes for a much tastier drink.
So, Alex and I began searching online for Massachusetts farms that grew corn. We finally stumbled upon Mainstone Farm (probably from localharvest.org; a great site to find real food in your area). They were known for their cornmeal, so we figured it was worth checking out. Also, they were located in Wayland, MA, only a 15-20 drive from us. Hyper-local!
We got in contact with them and were invited over to check out the farm. This was back in January 2012 (it takes a long time to open a distillery). We were greeted by Tim and Pauline Henderson who have been managing the farm since 1993. They use sustainable practices for everything they do on the farm; raising grass-fed beef, pastured pork, laying hens, making syrup, growing vegetables, and corn. Oh, the corn.
When we started discussing corn with them, the conversation really started getting exciting. Tim grows two different varieties. Longfellow Yellow dates back to the 1850s. He talked to us about how his grandfather grew this type and he wanted to as well (one reason was so he could replicate his grandmother’s cornbread). The other variety is Rhode Island White Cap which dates back to the Narragansett Indians. Two heirloom varieties. This is exactly the kind of farm we wanted to work with. We explained to them what we wanted to do – make small batch spirits using only grains grown in Massachusetts so that we could support our local farms. This seemed to appeal to them as well. I think the idea of being able to drink some good alcohol that uses the amazing corn they grow was also pretty exciting…
We finally started brewing and distilling early in 2013 and the first grains we played around with were Tim’s two corns. When we first tasted what came off the stills, we knew immediately we had something pretty special. Using excellent ingredients really does come through in the flavor. We hope you think so too.
So now, finally!, we are ready to release our first 6 month barrel aged bourbon. It is made with the Longfellow Yellow corn and is delicious. Come in and buy some – you won’t just be supporting us, you’ll also be supporting a local, sustainable farm that takes great pride in all of the food they grow.
I won’t stop there with the plug for Mainstone Farm, though. Everything they do really is amazingly tasty. I generally make it out to their farm stand every week. Go. Check it out. You will not be disappointed.
103 Old Connecticut Path
Wayland, MA 01778
(It’s about half a mile off Route 20)