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Farm-Based Distilleries Catching On Fast
Harmony Spirits
In Minnesota, long-time friends Andy Craig, Jim Simpson and Larry Tammel are owners and operators of Harmony Spirits, a rural-based craft distillery. All three men grew up on farms and Craig still actively farms in the area. They also worked together in the ethanol industry.
“We’ve been home beer brewers for many years and enjoyed many ‘field trips’ to distilleries in our region. We started to think it would be nice if we could find a good distillery closer to home,” Simpson says, and that led to the idea of starting their own operation.
While the idea was easy, putting it into practice was another story. Aside from farming, the 3 had little other business experience, and they didn’t have the financial capital to start a business. What they did have was the “can do” attitude of people who know how to work. Bringing their idea to fruition took 6 long years of planning, permitting, building, and fundraising before the burners finally turned on under their stills.
Today Harmony Spirits makes whiskey, bourbon, and vodka. The products are made with their own farm-grown crops and use limestone aquifer water that has nearly the same profile as the famous Kentucky water. Harmony Spirits uses only oat and corn grains, so their products are gluten free. They grind their own grain and even their white oak barrels are Minnesota made.
Whiskey and bourbon are pot-stilled in small batches and run through a milk filter before bottling so the spirits retain the local grain flavor. The vodka is triple-distilled in column stills and then filtered through charcoal to give it a smoothness that customers like.
“We plan to add rum to our product mix and that requires cane sugar, which doesn’t grow in the north-country,” notes Simpson. “We will, however, use local honey in the rum so at least we can claim it’s mostly local.”
Harmony Spirits uses a unique bottle shape and an eye-catching label to help stand out in the burgeoning craft distillery field.
The owners also host tastings where liquor is sold or consumed, telling their story and letting people sample.
Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Harmony Spirits, 40 1st Ave. NW, Harmony, Minn. 55939 (ph 507 886-7687; www.harmonyspirits.net).

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2020 - Volume #44, Issue #2