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They’ll Make Whiskey From Your Corn
Joe Knobbe offers crop farmers an opportunity to share part of their harvest. Send him corn - or other grains - and within a year it will be turned into barrel-aged whiskey at Knobbe’s on-farm distillery, Flyover Whiskey.
The young Nebraska crop and beef farmer spent several years researching and experimenting with small batches before officially opening his business in 2020. With word of mouth and social media, customers from throughout the Midwest are learning of his unusual venture.
The process is simple. Place an order on the Flyover Whiskey website and a Tyvek bag will be mailed to you. Fill it with corn (about half of a 5-gal. bucket) and ship it back with the prepaid label.
He and Devon Birchem, head distiller, make a corn mash and run it through one of their small stills.
“All our equipment is set up for six (750 mL) bottle batches. We are very small scale,” Knobbe says. “We don’t chill filter it, which we think helps with the flavor.” The clear liquid is aged in a 5-liter oak barrel for 6 to 8 mos., which gives it color. If requested it can be aged for as little as a month.
“Customers say it’s different because it’s not aged a long time. They are really surprised that it’s so smooth,” he adds, noting that each color and variety of corn has subtle differences.
A customized label by graphic artist Kylie Kai adds the finishing touch to make the whiskey personal to share with friends or enjoy on special occasions.
“Farmers have a lot of pride in what they grow,” Knobbe says, and the labels reflect that.
In addition to making corn whiskey, Flyover Whiskey experiments with other grains and blends. For example, they combined 80 percent Nebraska corn with 20 percent Montana wheat to make whiskey for a couple’s wedding.
The cost for six bottles is $350 for farmers who provide corn. Customers without grain can order whiskey for $375, made with corn from other farmers or a blend from Flyover Whiskey.
The whiskey can be shipped to Nebraska and North Dakota, and Flyover Whiskey is working on shipping to other corn-growing states.
Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Flyover Whiskey, 1189 C. Road, West Point, Neb. 68788 (joe@flyoverwhiskey.com; www.flyoverwhiskey.com).

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2023 - Volume #47, Issue #2