March 31, 2015

Bye-Bye Bourbon?

Before you think I have lost my mind or have decided to start drinking clear alcohol, hear me out.

The odious asshat pictured at the top of the page is Indiana Governor Mike Pence. He is a not-very-smart man. He recently proved this by signing a bill into law which, under the rubric of "religious freedom", allows for discrimination on the basis of religious belief. Not surprisingly, a lot of the country is calling this bullshit out.

The snark in me wants to say the best way to protest this would be for companies in Indiana that are opposed to this law to use it to refuse service to right-wing Christians. Because they always seem to be shocked that a good portion of their poorly-written laws can be used against them.

But no. There is another way. That dovetails nicely with a pet peeve of mine.

When it comes to booze, I am a stickler for truth. If you say your scotch is aged 12 years, it damn well better be 12. If you say your beer has three different kinds of hops, you best not be lying about it.

And if you are going to say your bourbon is "hand-crafted" like you spent a decade+ making it? Well, you had better be telling the truth.

That is where Lawrenceburg, Indiana and MGP enter the story.

Lawrenceburg, Indiana (not to be confused with bourbon-locale Lawrenceburg, Kentucky) is home to a massive brick complex that cranks out mega-industrial quantities of beverage-grade alcohol. The factory, once a Seagram distillery, has changed hands over the decades and was most recently acquired by food-ingredient corporation MGP. It is now a one-stop shop for marketers who want to bottle their own brands of spirits without having to distill the product themselves.

Their products are well-made, but hardly what one thinks of as artisanal. And yet, much of the whiskey now being sold as the hand-crafted product of micro-distilleries actually comes from this one Indiana factory.

I encourage you to read the whole piece as it is quite enlightening. And you can also find out the companies that use MGP as their source of whiskey. And then stretch the truth about where it comes from. And there are some big names on there as well, like W.H. Harrison Bourbon, Breaker Bourbon and Hooker's House.

So you have a state wanting to legalize discrimination in the name of God (which I personally think He is not cool with, BTW) and that same state housing the source of a lot of whiskey-laced lies. What to do, what to do, what to do...


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