Page 70

sourcing spirits A LOOK AT THE PRACTICE, BENEFITS, AND THE NECESSITY OF TRUTH IN LABELING

WRITTEN

s

BY

CHRIS

LOZIER

///

PHOTOGRAPHY

BY

AMANDA

JOY

CHRISTENSEN

ourcing spirits from large beverage alcohol producers

were looking for at MGP, and began working closely with them

has been and continues to be a common practice in

to produce the base for their vodka and their Temperance Trader

the distilling industry for large and small labels, alike. While misleading advertising about a spirit’s production is receiving

bourbon line. “MGP was a great fit for Bull Run for a few key reasons,”

a lot of ridicule, as it should, there are potentially reasonable

explains Bernards. “They had ample inventory of appropriately

benefits to transparent sourcing for both the distiller and the

aged spirits (3-8 years old), they had blends that were of high

consumer.

quality and were unique, and they were willing to work with us on

Distillers and bottlers are able to work in different capacities

our own mash-bills going forward. We invest time at MGP to work

with large-scale alcohol producers. For many vodka, gin and

on our bourbon and our peers at MGP have been to our place

liqueur distillers, sampling several different offerings from a few

to see our production processes - the level of collaboration is

Neutral Grain Spirit (NGS) producers will often suffice to select amazing. While we’re not distilling our Temperance Trader line the spirit base for their product because they are going to alter it

through our stills, the relationship we have with MGP allows us

further at their distillery.

to be involved virtually every step of the way.”

For whiskey distillers and bottlers, a good relationship needs

MGP was founded in 1941, employs 290 people, and vice

to go farther than that. Patrick Bernards of Bull Run Distilling

president of alcohol sales and marketing David Dykstra says they

in Portland, Oregon, says he and co-owner Lee Medoff requested

are one of America’s top multi-line producers. They make white

samples from all of the whiskey producers they could find, tasting

spirits at their Atchison, Kansas plant and brown spirits, including

and comparing the products until they found some they would

bourbons and other whiskeys, along with white spirits, at their

be proud to put their label on. Eventually they found what they

Lawrenceburg, Indiana plant, formerly owned by Seagrams and

70 WWW.ARTISANSPIRITMAG.COM