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5 New Rye Whiskies You Need to Try This Fall

As the weather turns cold we all spend more time inside, huddled up with our friends and families. As we come together to celebrate the holidays, a number of fantastic rye whiskeys are being released to aid us in our libations. Here are 5 new rye whiskeys you need to try this fall.

rye whiskeys

Former Maker’s Mark Master distiller Dave Pickerell has set out to create the best rye whiskey the world has ever seen.  He may have done just that with his new bottles of WhistlePig.  Made with choice Canadian rye grains and aged in barrels for 10 long years, this deep amber whiskey tastes of the care and age that went into its making.  Founder Raj Peter Bhakta grows the rye for the whiskey, and the oak trees for the barrels, on his farm to create the tastiest farm-to-barrel experience you can buy in a single bottle.

For those that want proof that America still makes great Whiskey, look for Michter’s US *1 Single Barrel Rye.  Michter’s began making Whiskey in the 1750’s when the people were authentic and so was their liquor.  A rustic tasting whiskey with a brown amber color, it provides a tasty kick you wouldn’t expect from an 84 proof whiskey.  It is finished in toasted, not charred, barrels to give this whiskey an added spiciness that you are sure to love all the way to the bottom of the glass.  

After the fuss last year of releasing a batch of barrel-to-tank whiskeys, this year’s Sazerac 18 year Kentucky Straight Whiskey has been drawn directly from the barrels. Aged for 18 years this is the whiskey that came to fame in the Sazerac Coffee House in New Orleans and become the first genuinely American cocktail as it was used instead of French Brandy when it was added with a dash of bitters and herbsaint.  This should be seen as historic evidence that it is your patriotic duty to use it in all of your holiday cocktails.  

Jefferson’s Journey is following up their series of Ocean Aged Whiskeys in 2017 with whiskey that had been stored away on board a 23 foot motor boat that cruised the great rivers of America’s East coast, including the Ohio and Mississippi.  This well traveled rye whiskey follows  the path that bourbon was transported from Kentucky to New York throughout the 19th and 20th centuries.  The idea is that sloshing around in the boat allows the whiskey to make more contact with the barrel and that exposure to changes in weather and temperature speeds up the aging process to give this whiskey a great taste and a wonderful story to tell while you drink it.

George Remus Repeal Reserve is being released in November just in time to celebrate the anniversary of Prohibition on December 5th. A blend of two different high-rye mashbills from 2005 and 2006, the combination of the two gives this whiskey a surprisingly complex taste.  Proof that Prohibition was a bad idea, this is a limited edition whiskey, so make sure you don’t miss it before it’s taken away from us again.  

The weather may turn cold, but our attitudes won’t with this fine selection of Whiskey’s coming to us this fall. Working on your own batch of rye whiskey? Brooks Grain is here to support you every step of the way, contact us today to learn more about our high quality grains!

Dakota Quality Rye – The Great Plains Greatest Grain

Rye is one of the small grains grown in the Great Plains. It is a winter annual, planted in the fall, and is the hardiest of the small grains. Rye does well in cool climates (optimum temperature 55ºF to 65ºF) and tolerates most adverse weather. It is often grown in light, sandy soil, when weed problems are present or when the soil is low in fertility. Rye grain is similar to wheat in size and composition but is lower in protein. Bread made from only rye is a small, dark, compact loaf. Hence, in North America, it is blended with wheat to produce a loaf that is more acceptable to the consumer. Due to its hardiness, winter rye is commonly grown in the northern parts of the Great Plains like the Dakotas.

Dakota Quality Rye – An Immigrant’s Story

Rye bread, of course, is not new to Americans. However, none of the rye bread we are used to as Americans match the bumpy, nutty, and fragrant ancestor from Scandinavia and Northern Europe. What we call rye bread, although not a whole-grain bread, isn’t just a mutt mixing American whole grains with European rye. It is more of a blending of traditions, a bread spicing, if you forgive the pun, combining caraway, anise, fennel and coriander seeds, common in America with old world practices.

Rye, like barley and oats, is an ancient grain that thrives in cold and wet weather. Before modern agriculture and transportation made wheat available everywhere, rye was the best (and sometimes only) option for bread baking. The traditional bread produced by bakers and homemakers were staples across the region, dense, fragrant and satisfying. Those qualities have also given rye bread a renaissance with modern enthusiasts, who may also appreciate that it contains more fiber and less gluten than wheat.

Consider trying this Dakota Norwegian Rye, an American interpretation of a traditional rye bread using Dakota Quality Rye developed by Dakota Harvest Bakers in Grand Forks, North Dakota originally featured in Stanley Ginsberg’s cookbook, The Rye Baker:


  1. SPONGE (DAY 1, EVENING) – Mix the sponge ingredients by hand until incorporated, cover, and ferment at room temperature (68-72°F/20-22°C) overnight, 12-15 hours. The sponge will be very bubbly, have a clean sour smell, and will have doubled in volume.
  2. FINAL DOUGH (DAY 2, MORNING) – In the mixer, combine the flours, salt, yeast, and sugar, then add the sponge, water, vinegar, and caraway seed. Use the dough hook and mix on low (KA2) speed until the dough comes together into a soft, sticky mass, 6-8 minutes. Cover and ferment at room temperature until doubled in volume, 1Уг-2 hours.
  3. Turn the dough, which will have become more elastic and easier to work, onto a lightly floured work surface and shape it into a rounded oblong loaf 14-16 inches/35-40 cm long. Place on a well-floured peel, if using a baking stone, or on a parchment-lined sheet pan, cover, and proof at room temperature until doubled in volume, 45-60 minutes.
  4. Preheat the oven to 430°F/220°C with a steam pan (see page 76) and the baking surface in the middle. Use a sharp knife or razor blade to make three diagonal slashes to a depth of И-Уг inch/0.6-1.25 cm. Bake with steam for 15 minutes, then remove the steam pan and continue baking until the loaf thumps when tapped with a finger and the internal temperature is at least 198°F/92°C, 30-35 minutes. Transfer to a rack and cool thoroughly before slicing.

To get your hands on some great quality rye grain or for answers to any of your questions, drop us a line here at Brooks Grain. In the meantime, enjoy the rye bread!


Brooks Grain, LLC will be exhibiting at the American Distilling Institute’s (ADI) Annual Craft Spirits Conference & Vendor Expo. The event will take place April 3-6, 2017 in Baltimore, Maryland at the Baltimore Convention Center.

The Craft Spirits Conference is one of the oldest and most successful conferences in the craft spirits industry. Baltimore is an interesting city packed full of intrigue, patriotism, and important history. To top it off, Baltimore and Washington DC are home to some excellent distilleries that will be offering attendees quite the experience this year at the conference.

This years event will offer attendees the opportunity to attend breakout sessions, hands-on distilling workshops, and listen to some of the greatest leaders in the industry speak on various topics. From marketing and social media to chemistry and starting a brand new craft distillery, no subject will be left untouched. In addition, there will be a Women in Distilling Luncheon, full and half day tours, and the much anticipated ADI Awards Gala.

Throughout the event, attendees will be able to meet a number of excellent vendors and check out the latest and greatest services and products in the industry. Brooks Grain, a provider of high quality grain services to the craft distilling industry, will be sharing more than 50 years of experience and knowledge at the expo.

Want to learn more about the Annual Craft spirits Conference & Vendor Expo? Click here for more details.



It is with great pleasure that CGB and Brooks Grain, LLC announce the hiring of Nicholas Nessan to be a part of the Brooks Grain, LLC team.

Nick has been in the grain and futures trading business for 9 years with experience on the trading floors in Minneapolis and Chicago.  Nick spent the previous 6 years as a cash grain trader, in both the US and Canada.  Nick brings a strong trading background to Brooks Grain and is excited to continue on the legacy of his Grandfather, the company’s namesake, Brooks Fields.  He will office briefly in Minneapolis before the entire Brooks Grain, LLC group moves to Jeffersonville IN where their business partners, CGB Enterprises, are located.

At Brooks Grain, we have been supplying high quality grain to distillers for decades. In that time, we have learned how to select the highest quality product at the best prices possible. We have also learned how to get our product to our distillers quickly and effectively.

As a craft distiller, you have a lot on the line. In order to produce your product, your suppliers must be dependable. There is nothing more critical to your business than turning over your inventory. We understand that waiting for ingredients to come in is not an option.

That’s why we have implemented a logistical system that is both highly efficient in getting our product to you quickly while also being cost effective. With over 50 years of experience selling grain products to distilleries, we have learned a thing or two about excellent service and maintaining an exceptional product.

Do us (and yourself) a favor and ask around about our reputation. We’re confident you’ll find that we are highly esteemed among craft distillers. We have relationships with business partners that have been around for as long as our company has been in existence. Maintaining relationships for this long is not something that happens by chance. Our staff is absolutely committed to providing you with the highest quality grain along with the best service in the industry.

Your supplier is critical to your success. Before making a decision of this magnitude, we encourage you to do your research. If you have questions, contact us. We are readily available and happy to answer any questions you might have. At Brooks Grain, we know that once you talk with us you’ll feel at ease about selecting your supplier. With our extensive experience, we can help you solve potential problems before you even run into them.

Craft Distiller craft distillery

Whiskies vary greatly in flavor and form depending upon their composition, agedness, and the distillery method used to get them from plant form into your glass.  Acquiring a taste for whiskey is a worthy pursuit inviting one with an adventurous spirit to call themselves a whiskey drinker.  A true whiskey connoisseur will tell you that whiskies vastly differ one from another and a small piece of the puzzle is whether the whiskey is a grain whiskey or a malt whiskey.

Although barely is a grain, grain whiskey is generally a reference to any whiskey made from grains besides malted barley.  These whiskies may be composed of maize (corn), wheat, or rye.  Whiskey made solely or primarily from malted barley is considered a malt whiskey instead of a grain whiskey.  A couple of interesting notes on this:  most American and Canadian whiskies that you’ll consume will be a grain whiskey while any whiskey produced in Scotland is actually required to contain some malted barley (even if it still qualifies as a grain whiskey due to its primary composition being that not of malted barley).

Other facets that factor into the science of a malt whiskey versus a grain whiskey include the method in which the beverage is distilled (think pot still versus a continuous column still) and the level of blending that’s present (blending is often used to smooth out some of the harsher characteristics of single malt whiskies).

Regardless of your level of knowledge or desire to unearth the mysteries of whiskey and the whiskey making process worldwide, it’s easy to see the allure of this formidable, rich, and diversely flavored drink.  If picking up a glass and drinking a grain whiskey is more your style than delving into the complexities that make it what it is, you’re in good company.  But if discovering world-class grains and creating your own brew is where your passions lie, contact Brooks Grain today.  We’ll get you on the track to success and help you fill your glass with excellence in the process.


Brooks Grain is sponsoring the Townsend Grains & Grits Festival!

The event is taking place on November 5th, 2016 in Townsend, Tennessee at The Peaceful Side of the Smokies. This amazing venue is nestled in a beautiful corner of Eastern Tennessee near the Great Smoky Mountains. This is the perfect setting for outdoor recreation, so you may want to stay a few extra days and enjoy the stunning scenery and limitless hiking trails after the festival!

The Townsend Grain & Grits Festival is all about southern spirits and delicious food. Visitors will have the opportunity to experience excellent craft spirits and gourmet cuisine as well as exploring legendary blenders and distillers in the region.

Whether you are a foodie, a consumer, a spirit professional, or a bartender, you will find something to love at this exciting sampling event. Enjoy live entertainment featuring Tara Thompson, sweet and savory snacks from local restaurants such as Blackberry Farm and Dancing Bear Appalachian Bistro, and a wide selection of craft spirits brought to you by regional legends.

Which legends you ask? Jeff Arnett with Jack Daniels Distillery, Kenner Shanton with Old Forge Distillery, Greg Eldam with Sugarlands Distillery, Master Distillers of George Dickel Distillery, and Jason Franklin with Thunder Road Distillery, to name a few.

This event is for spirit lovers 21 and up. Interested? Click here for tickets, the festival will take place rain or shine!



About Brooks Grain

Brooks Grain provides high quality grain services for the craft distilling and brewing industry backed by 50 years of experience. We understand that the final product is as distinctive as the people that make it. Your craft distillery might be just getting started, but we’ve been around the block once or twice and we’d love to help show you the way.

Overall in the United States, despite the climate change, wheat production is above previous levels. All wheat growth combined is forecasted to be up 6%. These predictions are about on par with the industry predictions of 2.149 billion bushels.

The only type of wheat that is expected to see a negative hit is winter wheat. Forecasts of the production have it currently down 3% but that is still greater than the 2014 yield. In total there is expected to be a 33.3 million acres of winter wheat harvested which is 3% greater than 2014.

Durum wheat is expected to do especially good this year. The estimated increase from the 2014 numbers is 42% or 75.5 million bushels, this is despite a .1 bushel per acre reduction. The total number of area that is expected to be harvested for Durum is 1.91 million acres, 43% up from last year but on track for this year’s predictions.
Other wheat to be harvested during the spring is forecasted to be 617 million bushels or a total of 13.2 million acres. Both the acreage and the bushel count is up 4% from last year’s numbers.

In a wheat supply and demand report the United States Department of Agriculture stated that is believes the carryover for wheat to June 2016 will be 3% higher than last year. This number of bushels being carried over is below the projected amount by over 100 million bushels.

For other crops there is also a reduction in carryover. Corn is predicted to carryover 10% less and soybeans are predicted to carryover 11% less than 2015 numbers. Both corn and soybeans are below projected numbers. Tobacco in the United States is seeing a major hit at 21% less production than the 2014 numbers.

Oranges are also seeing a 1% lower production than the forecast. More than that though, it is 6% below last season’s utilization. While Florida is slightly above expected production levels it is still seeing a lower number of production than last season’s utilization. California oranges are down 5% from the last forecasts and a total of 11% from last season’s utilization numbers.

While 2015 is going to be a good year for wheat some other crops may see less success. Also, despite the increase in wheat production there is going to be a reduced amount of wheat carryover suggesting that there is more wheat being used this year than last year.

To see the full report released July 10, 2015, by the National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS), Agricultural Statistics Board, United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) click here

craft spirits

This month the Minneapolis / St. Paul Business Journal will be getting a few of the twin cities local distilleries together in one room to discuss the past, present and future of the craft spirits business!

Our very own Cara Fields will be on the panel of experts discussing the past, present and future of the craft spirits business! Be sure to follow along with this conversation on Twitter using the hashtag: #mspbjspirits

Some of the other panelists will be Bob McManus from 11 wells, Chris Montana from Du Nord Craft Spirits, Michael Swanson from Far North Spirits and Joel Vikre from Vikre Distillery

Cara looks forward to sharing some industry insights and meeting everyone in attendance. To register for this event you can sign up here: The Business of Craft Spirits – Business Journal

We have a great new website!

Orange Manhattan

Christmas Burwell Manhattan

These are great…actually one of the house fav’s.

Here is what you will need

  • cocktail shaker
  • ice
  • dash of sweet vermouth
  • 1.5 oz bourbon whiskey
  • 1.5 oz Cointreau
  • dash orange bitters
  • dash maraschino cherry juice
  • 1 maraschino cherry, to garnish – well, make it 2

Mitch Morgan


The Mitch Morgan

-One shot of bourbon;

-One-half slice of cooked bacon;

-Combine ingredients, enjoy.

Yep.  That’s it.  The smoky bacon pairs wonderfully with the wood in the bourbon and makes a delicious garnish, and its fat cuts the bite of the alcohol with ease.  Put them together and you’ve found the perfect way to stay warm this winter.

The drink originates from Telluride, Colorado, specifically a BBQ and Bourbon joint called “Oak…The New Fat Alley.”  Telluride makes sense for this cocktails’ birthplace: know for cold, snow and mountains, the one-time silver mining camp has emerged as a destination ski resort town.  The Mitch Morgan speaks to the town’s hardscrabble roots (it’s easy to see a drink like this counting as breakfast for a miner) and it’s foodie/ski resort present.

One thing, however, is certain: The Mitch Morgan will warm your belly and put a smile on your face at the same time.  Time to stock up on ingredients before the snow cuts you off from the store.

Mint Julep

Mint julep

4 cups bourbon
2 bunches fresh spearmint
1 cup distilled water
1 cup granulated sugar
Powdered sugar

To prepare mint extract, remove about 40 small mint leaves. Wash and place in a small bowl. Cover with 3 ounces bourbon. Allow the leaves to soak for 15 minutes. Then gather the leaves in paper toweling. Thoroughly wring the mint over the bowl of whisky. Dip the bundle again and repeat the process several times.

To prepare simple syrup, mix 1 cup of granulated sugar and 1 cup of distilled water in a small saucepan. Heat to dissolve sugar. Stir constantly so the sugar does not burn. Set aside to cool.

To prepare mint julep mixture, pour 3 1/2 cups of bourbon into a large glass bowl or glass pitcher. Add 1 cup of the simple syrup to the bourbon.

Now begin adding the mint extract 1 tablespoon at a time to the julep mixture. Each batch of mint extract is different, so you must taste and smell after each tablespoon is added. You are looking for a soft mint aroma and taste-generally about 3 tablespoons. When you think it’s right, pour the whole mixture back into the empty liter bottle and refrigerate it for at least 24 hours to “marry” the flavors.

To serve the julep, fill each glass (preferably a silver mint julep cup) 1/2 full with shaved ice. Insert a spring of mint and then pack in more ice to about 1-inch over the top of the cup. Then, insert a straw that has been cut to 1-inch above the top of the cup so the nose is forced close to the mint when sipping the julep.

When frost forms on the cup, pour the refrigerated julep mixture over the ice and add a sprinkle of powdered sugar to the top of the ice.

Serve immediately.

Manhattan Italiano

Manhattan Italiano

2 ounces bourbon reserve
1/2 once Tuaca
1/2 ounce triple sec
6 dashes of Orange bitters
1/2 ounce of white sweet vermouth


Dark and Bloody Bourbon Mary

Bloody Mary

Dark and Bloody Bourbon Mary

1 teaspoon salt / pepper / paprika mix
2 ounces Kentucky Bourbon
2 large lemon wedges
1 tablespoon Bourbon Barrel Aged Worcestershire Sauce
1 can (6 ounces) campbell’s tomato juice

Blackberry Soda


Blackberry Soda

1.5 oz Ole Smokey Blackberry Moonshine
top off with soda water on ice

Rye Rocks

Rye Rocks

Locate your favorite whiskey glass
add ice
pour Rye


Bourbon Iced Tea

Rye Iced Tea
  • 3 cups fresh blackberries
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint, plus mint sprigs for garnish
  • 6 good-quality black tea bags

Good-quality bourbon

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Bourbon Burger

Rye Burger

Burger Patties and Cheese:
30 ounces ground chuck (20 percent fat)
2 1/2 tablespoons bourbon (recommended: Bulleit brand)
1 1/2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1 1/4 teaspoons dried oregano
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 1/4 teaspoons table salt
30 grinds fresh black pepper
6 ounces Dubliner cheese (Kerrygold brand), thinly sliced and divided into 6 (1-ounce) servings

Sauteed Onions:
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon unsalted butter (European style)
1 large Vidalia onion, halved (through the core) and thinly sliced (1/4-inch)
1/4 teaspoon table salt
8 grinds fresh black pepper
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 cup bourbon (recommended: Bulleit brand)

Brioche hamburger-sized buns, halved
3 tablespoons unsalted butter (European style), at room temperature

Rye Sour

Bourbon Sour

2 oz bourbon whiskey
1 oz lemon juice
1/2 tsp superfine sugar
1 slice orange
1 maraschino cherry

Bourbon on the Rocks


The Plan

Find a good bourbon
Select your favorite glass from your bar
Drop in a couple of cubes
Pour over ice



Classic Manhattan


3/4 oz sweet vermouth
2 1/2 oz bourbon whiskey
1 dash  bitters
1 maraschino cherry
1 twist orange peel

Combine the vermouth, bourbon whiskey, and bitters with 2 – 3 ice cubes in a mixing glass. Stir or shake gently so you won’t cloud the drink. Place the cherry in a chilled cocktail glass and strain the whiskey mixture over the cherry.

Perfect Manhattan


2 oz blended whiskey
1/2 oz sweet vermouth
1/2 oz dry vermouth
1 dash bitters

Shake with ice to chill, pour into a low ball cocktail glass, and garnish with a maraschino cherry.


Cara’s Feature


750 JB White
1 can Concentrated OJ (Do not add water)
1 can Concentrated Limeade or Lemonade (Do not add water)
1 jar Maraschino Cherries. (I use DK Michigan Cherry since I don’t care for the Cherries)
2 Ltr Lemon-Lime Soda

Blend all ingredients together-place in freezer minimum 24 hrs.

**Once you remove from freezer, stir mixture from the bottom. Slight separation may have occurred during the freezing**