Field to Glass Spirits
We grow the grains, whenever possible, used in our premium, handcrafted spirits. This gives us complete control over the seeds we use, how they're tended and how they're harvested.
AC Hazlet Winter Rye (non-GMO) makes up 80 percent of the mash bill for Roknar Minnesota Rye Whiskey, and 100 percent of the mash for Gustaf Navy Strength Gin, Solveig Gin and Syvä Vodka
We use two types of non-GMO corn, which makes up 10 percent of the mash bill for our whiskey, Roknar: Blue River Organic and Minnesota 13.
The rye loves it this far north. Our rye grows to about four feet high; we chose AC Hazlet because of its ability to prevent lodging (meaning, it doesn't tip over in strong rain and wind). Older varieties of rye have been known to grow almost six feet high.
We purchased our rye seed in Holland, Manitoba. Now, we save our own seed every year.
Each August, we harvest about 100 acres of rye.
Out of the field and into the distillery. After the grains are cleaned, they are weighed, poured into a roller mill, and fed through auger to our mash cooker.
Fermentation is the next step in the process. This can take any where from three to 10 days, depending on what is being fermented.
Our 500-gallon copper pot still was made by Vendome in Kentucky. All of our spirits go through this still – the whiskey, rum and neutral spirit we use to make our gins and vodka.
We also have a 50 gallon dedicated gin still, also made by Vendome.
Head distiller Michael Swanson makes "cuts" during all distillation runs. "Heads" and "Tails" are discarded for their off-flavors. The "heart" of the run is reserved.
Our first whiskey, Roknar, is aged for about one year in ten gallon barrels from a Minnesota Cooperage. Our aging room is not climate controlled; it is freezing cold in the winter and hot and humid in the summer. These extreme temperature swings (as much as 130 degrees) play an important role in the aging process.