Craft Distillers and the “Whiskey Renaissance”

February 04, 2014

In the last decade, craft beer and wine industries across the Midwest have blossomed. This is especially true in Illinois when it comes to the wine industry. New, locally owned distilleries are also starting to pop up. Between 2008 and 2012, craft distilleries in the US more than doubled. Today on Focus, we’ll investigate. Host Jim Meadows talks with author and whiskey connoisseur Clay Risen about the changing definition of an “American whiskey” and about his book “American Whiskey Bourbon and Rye: A Guide to The Nation’s Favorite Spirit.”

Then, host Jim Meadows talks with two distillers who’ve recently opened their doors in Central Illinois. Ernie Trinkle, who is a co-owner of Rumshine Distilling in Tilton, just south of Danville, will be here. For him, making quality liquor is a lot of fun and he sees a definite niche for locally made, quality liquor in East Central Illinois. Jesse Williams of J.K. Williams Distilling in East Peoria also joins the show. His great, great grandfather perfected a corn whiskey recipe during prohibition, and after nearly a century, he and his cousins have started to manufacture and distribute it. He’ll tell us about why he’s so invested in bringing locally made Whiskey back to Peoria.

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Transcript for file: focus140204a.mp3
  there’s been a big expansion craft brewing and craft winemaking in the country over the past the past decade the craft whiskey is also seen bro number of small distiller distilleries more than doubled over the past few years Jim meadows in today on Fox InFocus will talk with whiskey expert clearance in SSB small distilleries are building America’s reputation for quality whiskey 17 distilleries are located in Illinois the second half of focus focus today will meet people from to drink from shine distilling Tilton Jesse Williams of JK Williams distilling East Peoria continues after the news welcome to focus on Jim Meadows if you like whiskey this is a good good time to be an American are so say my guests today later in the program when will talk to some to fairly new central Illinois craft distilleries Ramchand in Tilton that’s near Denville NJ K Williams in East Peoria right now let’s meet a man has made his mission to keep track of the USA’s growing field whiskey products clear ESN is an editor with the opposite sex in the New York Times is the author of a nation on fire America in the wake of the King assassination and most recent recently he’s written American whiskey bourbon rye a guy to the nations favorites favorite spirit including profiles ratings and tasting notes for more than 200 100 whiskeys published by Sterling Epicure and Claire is welcome to focus thanks for having me and just a note if you appreciate whiskey have opinions about your favorite song if you’re just curious about the subject walking your calls and emails on focus today today give us a call at 1 800 222 94550 send email to will dash talk at Illinois .edu phone number phone number again 1 800 222 wyll besides phone or email email you can send them to us on Twitter and Facebook at focus 580 0 acclaim first of all some guidance for the uninitiated we didn’t show up few months ago about a craft wineries on Linden and vineyard Vineyards in in Illinois but but wine and beer for that matter is not the same as same as whiskey is far is how you drink it that’s right you wouldn’t want to drink what to drink near Lees much whiskey to beer or wine in a sitting up that much higher proof and is really for sipping are Mexican cocktail what what do you like about whiskey what makes what makes it special well for me I just like the flavor I think it’s I got tonight nice iPic leave you look at the whole range with keys are out there from Scott H&M Japanese whiskey Steven within the United States size range of flavors sweet and smoky and and char floral and interesting to try to try new one I think it’s a very diverse liquor you can you can like I said you can makes it into cocktails you can drink it straight you can have on the rocks it I just work Fridays settings site with food very well that’s great for dessert desert so it’s just ate a fun spirit to encounter and the Explorer your book reviews over 200 whiskeys including up two brands in Illinois from the cobalt distillery and up few spirits CW how much is the industry do you cover in this book why try to cover up as much as I can its not literally comprehensive either RI number of brands that for one reason other didn’t make it into the book I is is beyond is it would be unwieldy I want to quit everything I tried to give arranged so that the average consumer in the average city in America walk into a liquor store and more Les find everything that’s on the Shelf in the book anime what is the answer your just a couple of questions about the history of of the of the drink one thing I had been to cause I live in Peoria for several years years is that Peoria was a huge Whiskeytown in the 19 century a whiskey trust in the late 19th century based in Peoria Peoria at once off to control all the whiskey production and distribution in the country rightway 1.8 controlled by 95 percent of always keep by volume Country Inn and also with interesting is because excise taxes on Outlook liquor production provided the federal government with an enormous amount of Revenue this is before the income tax contacts I actually gave I trust responsible for for almost half of income which means of Peoria pax district for Peoria the largest city I provided what’s half of all the money the government can i in the late 19th century but yeah I eat a day if you go around Peoria been recently I use to find evidence if you know where to look of what use to be either one of the nickname for 401 the names for an aged whiskey was caught with high wine and others there’s a district and I in Peoria apply for looking down town called the Highwind district and I don’t know how many people know that at Legacy Pats weather and that’s actually I think this particular the streets of High Street and I and moss Avenue I lived on my 7000 sign in the 1980s perhaps under mucho tumblr circumstances of the world with yarn for the time a lot of their mansion mansions are still there but they been carved up into a partner yes that is the case and dumb ice I’m wondering especially with all that happened was prohibition Vision Center at cetera is there any link between the whiskey production and then and any whiskey production today will there is in the sense that the Wii the whiskey trust I was was hit by the federal government antitrust what’s a litigation I went through a number of different generations eventually became a company called national Stiller’s which after probation bought out a lot of the other is a brand the gone dark during during drinking during probation and national through Friday does me up generations became what we know now is Jim Beam so in a way to be Minnesota descendant of RB incorporated the descendant of of the whiskey trust but I don’t blame them any of the seasons left at the trust Beeman corporated operated Anderson is base in the Chicago area but they don’t produce in Illinois do they know they don’t they dont they do all of their production of all the whiskey production in Kentucky now I was always is confused when I came to Peoria and 78 hi to Hiram Walker distillery was still around that’s right it’s now I believe in ATM facility the makes Nick Saban all the hurt to make alcohol for vodka as well what happened to Hiram Walker Hiram Walker just like a lot of other distilleries just that was was hit by a man for whiskey in the 70’s people where I gravitate toward more later Spirit I need You Lyrics tequila vodka vs Lee was the big thing white wine huge and I in the 70’s in whiskey 2011 it was cool I was with the baby boomers reacting with Patrick and so Hiram Walker like doesn’t the weather famous brand factor famous distillery when to have to shut the doors now Hiram Walker still alive still is a very powerful Brenda Canada to USA and thats thats why your book which focuses on us with exactly exactly and you’re talking about the decline with the decline in popularity in the lake late 20th century was there a decline in American whiskey quality as well yes and what’s funny is that there’s actually a lot of very good American whiskey I was sitting around if you don’t take out of a payroll continue states that you had add in the 80’s and 90’s very old very high quality whiskey but but what companies are doing me realize they couldn’t sell it for a profit with a didlo did they cook this high quality very tasty whiskey and what they would blended with a neutral neutral spirits to make it go further right and they would sell it is a down market brand rap so I think that would be in there superior form retail for very high high dollar value old is a block and that reinforce the image with key is a down my kids SKIDROW kind of drink rock god that sort of thing exactly exactly but behind all the really was good stuff in and today what your scene your scene with a really really high end whiskey is the stuff that saids for 20 years you’re so that the remainder of that stock Pappy Van Winkle is one of those does the data for smart people well so what happened to who created the upsurge the resurgence of American whiskey whats is a good question I have a couple things I think first of all there was a decision in the 80’s distillers to try to reverse image and to start to produce high end American with sew in 1984 at the store named Elmer T Lee Lewis with what is now Buffalo Trace introduced whiskey blend single barrel with huge bottle came with uni ball came from a single barrel girls statement of Quality Inn and Suites lined up with the single malt scotch Scott Trent I do with this is Calvary answers scotch and and those salata with distilleries Road at the same something Woodford Jim Beam Jim Beam started rolling out some small batch single barrel products but that was released prime feet because it took a long time people to turn these with you and what happened happened I think was just a generational change eyes are the children of the baby boomers boomers started to reach drinking age in the 2000 and a general term turn toward American made local products are you see this obviously cross the range of consumer goods optical in food dining people want authenticity they want something local whiskey is that they want to meet with history history of American whiskey has great history are they want something that I haz as I did for stranger flavors in and is interesting to explore vodka be a great drink it if it is what it is the flavor list clear rock with you whiskey whiskey you can go a lot of places with how far is it to be on creative with with the flavor if you know what you doing exactly ILP help a lot that today on Army of Liberty shop love whiskey and talking about it and other proselytizing shows does restaurant food with Eve menus in the restaurants and that filters filters down through the population so I think that you just use general trend that makes whiskey the obvious choice let’s go ahead head and take a phone call this is Line one Kent from Champaign to ask questions good morning morning morning when I was in my younger adult life Olivia Kansas City used to buy a product called southern pride with your period apparently with distilled in Pekin Illinois was a very smooth sipping whiskey nothing like white lightnin corn whiskey nothing like like white lightning work for moonshine I wonder if you know anything about it I die don’t I don’t know southern pride are there was the word number of stories in the Peoria IL area had a number story I know there is an ethanol plant in Peoria today corn products company and I was wondering if the the ancestor of that because corn products I think he’s not into making spirits but perhaps maps of years are there making some of maybe they were making whiskey from Borat that very well but very well could be on during the 70s 83 countless brand that when I went to and actually today or being bought out in an introduced as in Victor brand for temple was was around in the late 70’s and it disappeared and then Decatur so go another company Can Am and I didn’t pay for teachers in a band brand and so they started creating a new line called me pictures today is not related accept my name piercing that more morning wouldn’t be surprised someone Camelot created a new southern pride whiskey Kentucky how far back we were you thinking southern pride what decade was happy about the the a probably the 70’s I still have 21 21 Lee bottle flaps Mobile in my downstairs closet someday I I guess I’ll drink in the lobby all gone I’ll tell you what there is a huge market today for we’re almost an archaeological project going on people go to old liquor stores I go to their parents liquor cabinets are there basements I look for the whole bottle of the honey and you know can I wouldn’t recommend you do that do this because that’s probably some good with you want to drink their yourself but I would not I would not be surprised if you could sell that for a 50 cent coin but I would die I never recommend anyone infested with you this much to find a drink I didn’t even know you no you could a private person could sell well yes you can I’m sorry Louie backtrack you can you can sell it directly to somebody auction it you can sell it you can do it yes I did I don’t know if I see you tell it to IN okay thank you thank you thank you thank you very much can this is focus mg metals were talking about the resurgence of whiskey in America with clear is in the office of American whiskey bourbon and rye a guy to the neck the nation’s favourite spirits published by Sterling Epicure join the discussion at 1 800 802 to 29455 send a email it will die will dash talk at illinois.edu the phone number again 1 800 222 22 wyll eposides phone or email you can send your question to west who was on Twitter or Facebook and focus 580 and you know for for people who are really starting from from square one what is it about about whiskey whiskey maybe about the production process what is key to making whiskey whiskey what was the first thing is that it distilled and I will ideas actually backing up for the green so you you can’t African dictator which you use to make vodka so it has to be green grain and wheat corn barley a ride are there actually sing your brains out there that test craft stores are using millet belt felt like that can rice producer whiskey arris can produce I not not great I get to try rice with a good um and Koval up in Chicago the mansion they do some do some really interesting guy through your green with keys and I everybody but they’re very well made and I hurt people to to try the sitter area but then you take that basically make a beer at you you I add yeast Hewlett how to create a max out of the out of the Grayman you let yeast take the other starters in there in 10 minutes Ian the sugars in tournament alcohol and then that’s your your beer basically and then you distill that and that draws the alcohol out of the mash and do that a few times and you create a product that is is that still has the essence of that green primarily alcohol and water and then with whiskey typically you thicken a barrel Inn and this is really is really wear a hat that the magic happens is the the the barrel call if you usually barrels are toasted inside a flame inside Chart little bit bring some the sugars in the wood to the surface and then you put whiskey in there an over time I the whiskey the various compounds and chemicals in the whiskey and furious Sperrys compounds and what rap and some of its drawn out I people probably heard the angels share which is the amount of alcohol that every year usually usually about 4 percent every year I just fabrics treated wood would a sport and I know it doesn’t leak out what it is and then you have have 5 things coming and going out of the what and the woods circus pun sponge away and you let it sit long enough to take Sonic Colors color and flavor that is complementary what was there with you still have to get out of the underlined grain oats and transformed Madden 25 what girl how long is the aging process well if some people age is a very short period of time I used the craft distillers you do it for just a few months I use E Sumner age RHD for 20 years and I would say if you ask as is the old old Birmingham what it takes to forward a video about 4 years beast to get a good bourbon opposite of the varies depending on where you are in the country country in the world one of the reasons Scotch tends to be older one of the reasons is that the temperature there be stable so you don’t have have fluctuations that make the barrel expand and contract and pull in and expel the water. In Kentucky you have very warm summers up to about 100 degrees and extremely cold winters, often below freezing for long periods of time, and so that forces the barrels fit in unheated warehouse how to expand and contract in and that action makes whiskey age faster after though you can imagine if you’re in a place like Kentucky somewhere with a hot climate or humid climate or somewhere over the berry Pokemon you’re going to get very different products with the same age in time and and I think it’s is another thing for interesting whiskeys a Tennessee whiskey and a man amain whiskey are going to taste different for that reason and and this is part of I guess I guess things did the craft of the Steeler is how to is as how to work the process precisely recycling and what’s interesting to is your Barrel apparel could taste great 84 years and then a horrible at 5 years and then wonderful again at 6 years is constant chemical interactions going on and so you’re absolutely right at the art of the distiller to take samples for me to barrel every year every every fairly regularly different ones do it at different intervals and when to figure out what is the right time to plant that Barrel in different barrels girls in different parts of the warehouse Irvine Ages different speeds because you’re wonderful what’s next to the wall is going to be more affected by outside temperatures the money in the middle and heat rises the wonder of the top will age faster and so the other art of the Steelers to know 1000 how to take all of the different barrels and combine them away that produces whiskeys is consistently more left the same flavor I smell in general profile now there is some whiskey make a point noting that your book does not include whiskey that is not aged right right right and I white women underwriting of names of white white whiskey moonshine um white dog new make make a Franks as a very good but but it’s also uh I believe it’s kind of a fad and right now everyone making it but overtime little and up being friendly market so so you for me in terms of justified in not cover I thought get that some place I can make a cut but there are people who enjoy it in and I am that says that’s wonderful with you there’s probably something out there for flavor flavored whiskeys is also not in the book no flavored whiskeys are not also I I hate him to see those more as a not a niche product right now, they’re incredibly popular. I don’t know if they’re necessarily a trend, I think they’re here to stay but they also tend to, um, put this way if you know you want to cinnamon flavored whiskey then as there’s you can go find a cinnamon flavored whiskey, there’s no I can tell you about the nuance and not be because you want taste like whiskey with cinnamon or honey you’re worth cherry flavored Dartmouth more like they’re not pre made cocktails but their kind of what kind of like that so I figured that was another thing like safely leave out and well that bring something up to your job in the book is that you have do you have to wait and then describe these whiskey for 200 year pretty feet in DeWitt one sitting no no I am i that was that that would be tough but no idea I have have the tasting panel and we met this is not use to yourself no I’m for the captain of the name of the process in so had a tasting panel we had a consistent set of data review sheet and went through Sears whiskeys every every night we met at 1 week and out we would then take all the information ComPilot and I would use that is is the first source material along with other with self I went back in stride just come up with a general idea because it’s also true that there are some people some people who have amazing college and contrast with a scientific accuracy tell you tell you what flavors ring with ultimately if it’s really a subjective experience so important for me to say well just because I find certain qualities whiskey I’d like to know that other people might find different also if I like something else does I need to take an account well I think your to Illinois distilleries that you mentioned in the book and I’m looking at the one the one for your listing for cold fall I just given idea of love how you put down the aisle down the information this is COBOL single barrel rye whiskey ready to start stars of the first thing is nose which is interesting to talk to me Tamia floral dark funky what do you mean by nose nose is is just just what it smells like an is usually the first week counter whiskey baby want to look at first see what color is a really Sleep Inn in the color give us a sense of what is going to start which flavors lighted probably like whiskey Jana come here in Spanish is pale straw the body is light yeah and that’s one thing interesting about a rye whiskey is that the color is love different than what you expected of a bourbon or rye whiskey can still have that dark talk to it and it never was the light in color and light body but that’s easy to take a data with offset left to the left let the aromas rise up into your nose you don’t know too aggressively because the alcohol can really singe the nostrils but the best kind of how you experience you let your mouth stay open if you get a nicer course of where current through your passage what you feel whole thing Think and the final conclusion I guess the general description for this particular brand Scovel is a good display of the Rye spirit overall a very well made right with whiskey that was the consensus of the panel yeah yeah Cohen and I mentioned before is that they do I say really make there is a rebel to reduce a grain or to produce a whiskey expression of the grain and so I think that you’re the sea this is if you taste their first single barrel ride that is not to me what up very well done right with what is it is what the Rye spirit should taste like and like you said it to to Starbucks in the book that’s in 2 out of 4 pretty heart Greater so that’s a very good grade and I know it Thai Grace Hopper now Corsino Koval and every day VWR new to me but they are some very familiar brands in the book in your experience variance um have you found the front of your life less likely to find a good whiskey a month Hmong the smaller the craft distillery someone the big ones are Kraft craft and I think to take the counter Sportcraft is its like any industry weather a lot of startup I you most going to fail because they don’t make a good product manager well I say they don’t have talent the still or at the the counting book book to make a working concern these are busy and so I always have to say that because her like people who I believe believing craft as an ideology and I love her craft with you say wonderful in there and what is much more ob ai miss but you’re going to have to live with you quite right but also a lot of whiskeys are revelation and end with E hope all for me was one where I was just one way by their willingness to experiment the wilder ability to create your asses off of grey green with keys and I and that’s that’s a lot of fun on the level innovation Racine inecraft whiskey is is ther stye is phenomena making a Category II a real delight to be writing about exploring have a question that was email Dan about American whiskey mike wants to know what’s to know can you address the difference in taste between American and Canadian whiskey whiskey a mic right I must admit I prefer Crown Royal in the like as I find bourbon bourbon have not aftertaste what accounts for the difference well at first loss just the individual keep it say in terms of preferences but in terms of what you’re looking at me and flavors most most Canadian whiskey Friday the most Canadian whiskeys are I heard it distilled distilled in aged pure grain products right so if your hundred hundred percent live in the US and other might be a hundred week 12 and then they’ll after all of that the blended together and usually Copeland in some neutral spirits well to get that later flavor that’s what you’re getting out of a Canadian whisky primarily I an American whiskey is is different in that everything’s fine feather before him before before the distillation and before the agent so you get different different product now I need to be later they tend to be the critics say to the little lamb little an interesting their fans can say that they tend to be more approachable and and die more fun to drink and I think that’s probably help with my kids Mike is coming from the Bourbon does & B are some work Recife and die moron I’ve no more more robust spirit and died what you make it sound like this is a good time to be drinking America American whiskey Annapolis what players in Think you for joining us on focus focus today thank you very much traffic clear is it is New York Times op ed editor the author of American whiskey bourbon and rye a guy to the nation’s favourite spirit it published Meister my sterling Epicure take a short break and let me come back we’ll talk with the distillers from from two new whiskey producers in central Illinois Sonu I don’t think they were open Mr Biswas researching is book this is focus on wyll we are back on focus on W wyll mg Meadows we are looking at the world of whiskey American whiskey whiskey and the growth of craft whiskey production in this country over the past few few years thanks again to whiskey expert play written for joining us the first after the show Alex Dr couple f**** with the product with me in the studio is ready trinkle wrinkle his business partner on the time it lands is also here together they open open to rub it shine distilling in Tilton in Vermilion County last October welcome to focus thank you and on the phone is Jesse Williams master distiller at J Kate Williams distilling which also Open last October in East East Peoria Jesse wants to business because wife can see brother John Williams Johns wife wife Kristin Jesse welcome to focus hello and thank you for having me questions about whiskey a welcome at 1 800 222 94551 Ohio how its made what we have two people hear you make it so I’ll give us a call or email us MLS it will dash socket Illinois .edu were on Twitter and Facebook at focus focus 580 the phone number again is 1 800 222 WI are you I ll never I can start with you how did you get started making Wii whiskey this is this is this is not the simplest I’ll be in the world well I had a neighbor neighbor he kept talking about doing it in one day I’ll this research on it then I started doing about 2006 uh desserts search recipes in the turnup be pretty good so I just went from there and and at what point did you did the two of you think will the Disco this could be a business should be making this is something about 2 years ago we got together and he tried it to talk about it the boat contractors village of Tilton is my stuff to give us land so we build a building in started the permit the permit process yeah I was wondering if you know anytime you dealing with alcoholism there’s got to be a certain certain set a regulation and that’s that you have to be so complicated was it getting adjusted distillery up and running how is very hit the cookers almost a year to go through all the all the paperwork you start out with the TTB which is the Fed and then you go can you go to the formula process in the label process when you have to go to go to state will let me ask the same question over 2 Vertu of Jesse Williams Jesse um how to how did you did you get started started it come across as a kind of a business plan my brother together for actually a brewery in love craft brewing at home and um with the 4th kind of looked at it in the playground playground here and there with the Burnside which is very easy to do at home and it comes to a business decision that it’s not exact exactly a good business to get into this point of the platupus Plateau point with what country the brewing business 80 s the craft brewing side of it so uh what kind of work did distilling and we both like to drink bourbon soy a kind of winter what to that side of it in red with it ok and so you’re in a urinal uracil in East Peoria is is the new building was an existing building it’s an existing building we did a lot of dough that was in the building to make it make it work your needs and what about you are you working with fertility are ya we build our facility okay and umm I’m just wondering as far is complexity in getting this done talking about summer about some of the real craft collagen artistry that seems to be needed that can really make how to make for a lot of variety in whiskey how tricky is making whiskey what’s the right now we produce row of where I actually in the process of producing the corn whiskey but we haven’t we have a virus be together working with the Bear Club here locally in town a couple guys that her up craft brewers in the in the club there’s a beer club in town yeah and with with that you have a room that you’re something right now yes yes we have factory five products for sale right now what’s what is there a particular brand that you work under strum shine on shine this is our brand and up for you and I miss you Mr Williams for you what are you what are you making at this point we make a virgin corn whiskey Ski and Wilson make an apple pie version of that in a lemon and we have a limited quantity of a peach that we still have left in house for to the product and we’ve got a bourbon barrels now tell me about the recipes virgin whiskey yes the clear spirit unaged and that is our are Greenville with Pat 80 percent corn 10 percent wheat 10 percent malted barley is the that much corn mash bill is a very very very trick in complex cooking process is it takes a lot of patience is corn is a very stubborn green to cook the starters now I understand this is this is a family recipe yes I’m with the best business venture 3 much is set in stone is what we’re going to do in working on it for well over your in a half with the planning very thing in the world we were talking to my grandfather which is my dads father and um tea set what are you guys know that your great great grandfather work in Peoria sterling industries no we didn’t know this week’s had no clue of it now no many past on the information that a great great grandfather JK head eventually lost his job along with most of the most of the others that works in the steel industry pre probation and I went to the to the back with making moonshine to support a family of 6 get the timing how to make do so this is the moonshine the Williams moonshine recipe if the same Greenville different cooking procedure than what they did back in the world in the woods we don’t have the same still of the most the information was passed on to us with the green building used and nephew if you the pulpit secrets but um a lot of been lost in translation it it it sounds like maybe the the fact that you had an ancestor who was who was who was was making Prohibition era alcohol is not something the the family was was was anxious to the the talk about much no it wasn’t talked about grandpa’s still he told us what he knows does but he said he had really spoken word of it to anybody before that what was something that his dad passed to him shortly before he passed away in I was told me don’t talk about this is just something we don’t discuss so he thought it was worthy to pass on dust knowing what we’re getting into greatly appreciative of them doing that whats rhe interesting and of course forced listening to clear is an earlier in the show who prefers the aged what would you say is the difference between something that is aged in something that is not age are you get a different complexity of flavors there’s no doubt apparel does help a product of all the nits taste of the wood does at a whole different flavor flavor characteristic to a product or corn whiskey is very strong wrong with the the corn flavor of it are distillation process provides this is a very good product we been extremely happy with everything everything is turned out now in the in the case of a map of Europe you’re probably for making rum right now in for this year did what’s the difference between rum rum and whiskey rum we make it out of sweetener for use honey sugar burger molasses different syrups a1a products to sell from wildflower honey and its 80 proof clear and then we also use oak Louiso cubes and then we put off I like toast in Hungarian OkCupid into the wild flower honey help with distilled building an egg is it a flavor and Colour cities are all specific things like using wild wildflower honey instead of some other so funny yes really make a difference on a product yes the wildflowers is about the best out there well once you have the product challenges is is getting into customers yours I take both your knee and I you Jesse are selling it at your own facility are you distributing any further than that that will be at Lee actually have a small town distributor that what do this job fire him yesterday Soho were talking orange blue now about them pictures picking us up but I really do cells store and word of him distiller distillery are we doing pretty good job ever distillery when you talk about distribution of Utah talking over to package liquor stores have salsa being served in bars in bones what were right now currently in liquor stores in bars selectively around the tildenville Jessie how bout you out there in East Peoria yes we are we sell a retail location here and we’re also connected to a distributor covers 17 County through central Illinois basically from Stateline wine to Stateline Indiana to Iowa Missouri so your product would also a JK Williams on it yes sir yes sir and so it’s been both in taverns and liquor stores yes sir how has business it’s been you both open open in October so that’s really like 4 months how is business been so far let me start with you Jesse businesses been good um this tends to be the slower time for liquor sales sales uh just after Christmas a night before the springtime it’s pretty much a train through the whole country but this is been good the artist are distributions been study in growing every week or so so I would say we’re happy happy with the way things are going to this point Ernie how’s it going for you it’s been going rate for us frost were really really small facility and out we’ve been doing really well just out of front doors so we really think that was weak we get to know a real distributor will really take off I’m wondering who do you think who do you think is buying your product of the Cedars no shortage of whiskey and rum out there if you just want to buy whiskey and rum are you got people coming many part because you are local Arnett are they coming because you have a particular flavor that attractive people it’s both both we have people come in at the oldest are we didn’t know you was here what are you doing Annandale by the people for the people come say you know when we get moonshine from Kentucky lucky you guys here we like to try your product in soda why do people yawn old both of really old attend like to stronger Italian deli have the older like the strongest yeah thats thats that’s because of because of the taste or just because I like to kick or what Lobos hours film Jessie House of Jessie how’s been with your special in a town which has a distilling history like Peoria we get a wife variety of the every body that comes to the door we get a lot of the younger crowd to the 21 days 27 market ne on up to the 50’s 60’s Bates bracket what I wouldn’t really say the thirs um a hugely neither way to the younger or the older generation generations I think everybody in the area is just curious to see what we’re doing do it how were doing it and I take the products are perceptis been extremely well with the the Peoria market how many different different products do you have right now just a virgin whiskey are there other than others as well we have uh for product that we sell a retail location we have 3 product distribution are peaches the only thing we didn’t send a distribution do do 2 limited quantities that we produce 2460 product of those of RR fly are flavored whiskeys get to flavored virgin whiskey are there are they are there in a little bit no over products come from our base corn corn whiskey and then we prove it down to elope roof to make car for products ok okay do not made with a natural fruit and spice do you plant when to bring to a produce NH product it’s hard to do right off at the beginning open a few months is that something you see in in the future yes we’ve got guide 10 barrel Center for right now 30 gallon barrels for me Cooper get to Minnesota called Black Swan and we used a up how to design shoes come up with this call the honeycomb and we’re going to have I have a 6 months product and then we plan to have a traditional 2 yr age bourbon and your plans for future products Arnie and in Tilton tilt a whirl working right now na spice rum for molasses we are working on our own corn recipe of our own and we have a Ice T and Wilson Ave lemonade what were talking about whiskey whiskey with a couple of a whiskey distillers in central Illinois Hiiraan focus still time for you time for your questions and comets for a drink a lot from Sean distilling in Tilton Jesse Williams of JK Williams to Celine East Peoria number 1 800 22 2229 455 email address will dash time Illinois dot edu im struck off with in both your cases I don’t think any of us give up your day job Seattle No Sew of Bothawui Jessie attorney about must both be really busy people at this time I have actually giving up my day job um I find full time is the distillery I work what word cuz its 6 7 days a week away with your business is a non stop top business mind you don’t you don’t just separate yourself from a by any means the means I came on at the first of December in we’ve been busy eversense Jesse for you do you say um I’m sorry Ernie do you see do you see a time when you’re going to move this full time or is it always do you always wanted to wanted to be a sideline hoe no no we we we plan on going full time it just depends as how business picks up you know when you drop off on construction and do more on on the ceiling the Deathly what we want to do full time time you’re making a product I’m struck by just the idea that you this is all your own itsy bitsy if its good or bad it’s because you you did it that must that must be just part of the appeal. Oh yeah we strive not to put that product out until we have it exactly the way we want it and we feel we done with a 5lb have to do that was with all with all future products what’s the biggest challenge scaling up from the product used to make it home to the product that you’re not making commercially how do you just me just make this work well for December a very small craft distillers Tillery so it’s really not too hard you know I will we run a batch we come out with with about 8 gallons of 170 proof and then we prefer down and we make our products sold where we don’t do anything Bible a large batch right at the moment you’re making up your your essential essentially you don’t go to school for the sort of things I didn’t know and how much does it how much does it cost to upload to get the equipment together that something Ashley built my first still and then me and my partner builder 2nd still so we Dollar sell soda cup cover for expensive but other than that Jesse Williams maybe we can talk about it from urine when you’re you know when your when your experimenting in coming up with with with with something new working on a recipe how to help how can see a processes that you’re going to come up with something that you want who want bowl for new product development st can be tricky attorneys experience same thing when you do testing on a new product your you’re doing it in a much smaller scale so your documentation in notes on on for size measurements for her pretty key to making sure your flavor consistency goes to go to do in a full scale bass weather it yellow with her needs a gallon the distal end we were about double that for corn whiskey so it is not much difference on are in the is it takes a lot of notes and the memory is conflict you very easy easy don’t write it down is there have you had to go back sometimes in NJ and recheck to make sure the weather cases when something didn’t come out the way you thought thought it was was supposed to come out few times worries WI no way? Cell phone we go back and check on Hudson shirt off for writers long does happen certain things things happening with your if your man is for water water changes through the years so theres does my rables that can make a big difference really fast that’s something that comes to my first of all I want to do I catch phrase I thought I remind me to go to prove something down what does that mean in the process in Indian Lake making process I thought I heard the phrase Winwood with with pooping a product you you take your initial proof and used is most small the stores use hydrometers we don’t have the money for the fancy equipment that the federal government uses but um he’s a hydrometer it takes the gravity the product and tells you what the percentage of alcohol in the percentage of water is in it Senate Santa proof it down you actually add water to lower lower the percentage of alcohol the proof of the product ok water the water you just mention that you’re using the municipal diciple water in East Peoria and I would imagine that water would be really TN in this process your using the municipal chlorinated water the regular get a treated water and doesnt does that affect flavor anyway we use will use regular municipal water on arm ash and then for all of our proofing we use a reverse osmosis system to prove the product so we could we still keep the full flavor of the products and not changing it with minutes for water Ernie on with rum shine shine over in Tilton where do you get your water from Macomb ashleys miss water water but we proof are sound we use distilled water so we get very clean Clearwater SSC does Ricky are the flavors to add that something that’s that’s really if you use tap water you would you would notice it sounds like yeah yeah depend on what minerals in the water you know and flavors in everything else what we’re running out of time here on the program today but I wanted to sync both of you for being on the on the show if you go to will.illinois.edu/focus you’ll come to links for both the rum shop just a distilling and I take a Williams distillery to find out more about their products text you also find a link for clay residence book American whiskey bourbon urban and Ron I need a rental and Jesse Williams thank you both Furby Furby in on the program today thank you for having a piercing kit for having me and thanks for everyone everyone who called or emailed are there questions are apologies if we weren’t able to get get you want to the air focus is produced by Lindsey moon are technical director is J is Jason Crofton Ryan Weber is our intern coming up on tomorrow city addition of focus Spurlock museum is holding its biannual preservation Korean this weekend will never preview with some guests can answer your questions about about preserving family heirlooms weather to book car photo album a bean old one of a kind recording are objects ranging from artwork to clothing R RR anything call me to email your preservation questions on Wednesdays show member focus is live each weekday morning at 10 with the replay at 8 p.m. is the focus of the air in AM 580 an online at will.illinois.edu edu working also this past programs and sign up for our free downloadable porn Podcast that’s it will dot illinois.edu/focus focus Meadows this is focus on wyll