Grain to Glass, Friend to Flask
Grain to glass. Farm to table. Consumers are growing more and more familiar with the transparent supply chain championed by the craft scene, but what does that mean for us at SILO?
Enter Jeff Grembowicz of Grembowicz Farm in North Clarendon, VT. Jeff supplies one hundred percent of the non-GMO corn, rye, and wheat used to produce SILO spirits. It’s quite an undertaking! Every week or two, he hand-delivers five tons of grain pre-bagged in 50 or 56 pound increments. We unload the truck by hand, restacking it on pallets in our shipping/receiving room. No need to visit the gym on grain days!
Jeff describes his farm the best:
“We are a small family farm located in North Clarendon, Vermont. The farm was established in 1946 as a dairy farm. The farm was operated as a dairy farm for three generations, until October 2005, when the dairy portion of the business was sold. It was then that we accelerated in the grain farming industry. As the fourth generation of the farm family, now cropping 600 acres, we have transitioned into a diversified grain farm of the northeast.”
So why is our relationship with Grembowicz Farm special? For starters, finding a Vermont-grown non-GMO grain was of paramount importance to the SILO team. As with any food product, quality begins with raw ingredients. Committing to local ingredients means not only having a better understanding of a product and its source, but also reducing fuel consumption and supporting the local agricultural economy.
In a world increasingly inhabited by digital relationships, it’s also nice to develop a more personal connection with our farmer-vendor-friends. Being able to speak with Jeff at a moment’s notice is incredibly reassuring. Maybe I’ve had a bad week and fell behind. Maybe we’ve been cruising and are ahead of schedule. It only takes a phone call to adjust our schedule.
Jeff’s grain doesn’t hang around the distillery for long. Shortly after delivery, the first bags are wheeled to our mill room where they pass through a hammer mill and are ground to the consistency of grits. From there, it’s up the augur and into the mash tun. Thus begins the process of producing the SILO craft spirits we all know and love – handcrafted and hand-grown.