Growing up on a Canadian farm I am no stranger to grain fields and harvest. The pungent smell of ripened stalks and the hum of machinery bringing in the yields takes me back to special memories of childhood. From farm to table was the way of my youth. Farm to glass however is a new phrase for this country kid.
I come from a family of farming pioneers in Canada. Black and white photos of threshing farm fields with horses, steam powered engines and later tractors, fill worn and aging photo albums.
Modern farming methods look an agricultural themed science fiction movie in comparison.
So on an autumn day, seeing massive Pecheron horses pulling vintage harvesting machinery I can’t help but blink repeatedly. Here in a field at Bar U Ranch National Historic Site near Longview, Alberta this farm girl wonders if time travel has become a reality.
What exactly is going on watching Canadian farming methods a century old you ask?
Farm to Glass – What is in your drink?
Eau Claire Distillery in Turner Valley, Alberta, is the first craft brewery in the province. The distillery produces gin and vodka however this barley field is on a patient three year journey from farm to glass to become single malt whisky.
My let’s-find-the-most-efficent-way brain wonders at the scene. Would it not be easier to just put in an order for grain? One of those massive monster combines could have this field licked up in about two minutes.
The Eau Claire distillers take a very different approach. Much like wineries seek grapes in specific soils and micro-climates for taste, so it goes at the distillery.
Purchasing direct from the farmer or contracting farmers with specific requests for varieties, each small batch of whisky will be unique. The flavour varying slightly each year, the whisky batch will be tied to the land of its birth. Truly farm to glass.
Have you ever seen a harvest in process?
Please note this is NOT a sponsored post. You too can volunteer to help with the farm to glass harvest. Should you be more interested in the glass than the farm, tours, tastings and private events are welcomed at Eau Claire Distillery. Click here for more information.