Last fall, following the lead of several craft distilleries, Sazerac announced plans to farm corn, rye, and barley on land adjacent to its Buffalo Trace Distillery in Frankfort, Kentucky. At that time, Sazerac announced the acquisition of 233 acres for that purpose. Yesterday, it announced that another 49 acres have been purchased.
Buffalo Trace plans to use the new acreage to create a farm-to-table "Single Estate" experience by growing its own grain to make its own bourbon.
The new farm-to-table bourbon will be a separate, stand-alone product with its own brand identity. The name, age, price, and other details have yet to be determined.
The Buffalo Trace site is now 439 acres large and the planned farm may not be the final use of the additional property. "These recent land purchases hold a lot of potential for us," said Master Distiller Harlen Wheatley. "We are very excited to begin our farm-to-table venture and see what the future has in store." The site has substantial Kentucky River frontage.
How about this? In the old days, distilleries often raised cows or pigs, feeding them with stillage. Stillage, the spent mash that is left over after all of the alcohol has been extracted, makes a high-protein feed for livestock. Some farmers still collect it in wet form from the distilleries, generally for free. Other distilleries dry it, which allows them to sell it as animal feed, but which is very energy intensive. No distillery today has a feed lot on site. Buffalo Trace could be the first.
NOTE: According to a reader, Short Mountain Distillery in Woodbury and Southern Pride Distillery in Fayetteville, both in Tennessee, are feeding livestock on site with stillage.