What Is a Farm Distillery and How to Equip One?

Photo by Titus Stanton

What Is A Farm Distillery?

The answer to that question is pretty straightforward: it is simply a distillery space on a farm or a distillery very close to a farm. Farming and distilling practically go hand-in-hand. Farm distillers originally came about because farmers did not want the crops that they produced to go to waste.

Let’s say you have a very plentiful potato harvest one year… and you have no idea what to do with all your extra potatoes. You certainly don’t want them to spoil. Mashing, fermenting, and then distilling them to make vodka is most definitely one of the best methods to use if you want to increase their shelf lives.

Should I Start My Very Own Distillery on My Farm?

If you’re a farmer who’s been thinking about ways to further capitalize on your crops, building your very own distillery might be one of the best routes for you to take. You certainly already have the capacity to grow and harvest ingredients for your mash, you’ll just need some equipment to get your distillery going.

In some states, farmers can sell directly from the farm or in a space nearby. If your farm is far from major cities, you may have a difficult time with sales at first, but perhaps you can work your way around this through local farmers’ markets or nearby bars. People truly want to know, see, and understand where their foods and drinks come from. It’s a wonderful thing that you’ll be able to show that to them. It gives people a sense of comfort and control. Plenty of our customers operate farm distilleries. If they can do it, you can, too! We just highly recommend that you do some research about building requirements and distilling laws in your area before you take on this new project. You’ll want to read up on legal standings in your state as well as start looking into obtaining a Distilled Spirits Permit (DSP).

What Do I Need to Equip My Farm to Make and Sell Spirits?

Firstly, you’ll need to figure out what spirit(s) you’d like to make, depending on what you grow. If you grow corn or wheat, perhaps whiskey might be your calling. If you’re a potato farmer, I’m sure you could make some splendid vodka. If you’re a fruit farmer, maybe you’ll want to make brandies, or perhaps you grow a little bit of everything and you would like to try it all. The commercial distilling equipment you’ll need may vary depending upon the spirit(s) that you ultimately decide on. You may wish to take the pot stilling route if you’re interested in making whiskey. Maybe you’d like a tall vodka column or, heck, maybe you want a hybrid still so you can do it all.

Adding a distillery to your farm can gobble up a lot of your time. Time is money, too. Though slightly more expensive, a continuous system can cut your workday in half. If you’re interested in continuous distillation and why it can be more profitable for you in the long run, check out our blog post on the advantages of continuous distillation.

If you’re interested in diving deeper into the logistics of opening your very own distillery, you can check out this awesome PDF that goes into some pretty extensive detail.

If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to contact us for help with getting things moving along.