When Braeden Bumpers and Tyler Hegamyer went into business in downtown Frederick, becoming successful at distilling spirits made from organic feedstock was their primary focus.
They have become green champions in Frederick County and the State of Maryland along the way.
As a result of their search for sources of organically grown grain not only in the county but in the entire state, they accomplished two important things: becoming the first certified organic distillery in the state (and one of three on the East Coast) and providing the buying power for a Frederick County farmer to grow them organic grain..
Charles Brault, a Thurmont farmer, now supplies McClintocks with 100-120 tons per year of organic corn and rye, in several varieties*, used in the mash and process for making the vodka, rye whiskey and gin that the Frederick business sells. (Brault also provides grain to Baltimore Spirits Company, Grey Wolf Distilling in St Michaels, Seacrest in Ocean City).
“Originally, we had to buy all the way from Ohio because we couldn’t find any organic grain locally,” Bumpers said. Ninety-five percent of the grain growing in Maryland is treated with pesticide, Bumpers said.
Braeden and the Braults met when the business was gutting the old Ideal Garage on Carroll St, where they are located; and struck up a conversation about McClintocks’ desire to be organic. Brault, having been certified organic by the Maryland Department of Agriculture since 2006, said supplying McClintock was a “no brainer”.
Growing organic is also a financial plus for the Braults: “Farm gate prices for food grade organic grain are the highest available. Organic grain prices generally run about 3 times that of conventional grain. There is a huge shortage of domestically grown organic grain. Most of it now comes from overseas: Turkey, Ukraine, South America. This has been driving down prices for domestic producers,” Brault said..”
McClintocks also has a system of reusing all the water input into their distilling process—a heavy water user– by reusing cooling water rather than sending it to the wastewater system for treatment.
“We’re almost waste neutral,” Bumpers said, with their brewery waste also being fed to pigs at a northern county hog farm. They are buying all their power from wind farms.
Braeden said McClintocks’ is proud of the sustainable work they are doing.”We didn’t really set out to be “green” but it just turned out that way,” he said.
See more about their environmental impacts here: http://www.mcclintockdistilling.com/blog/2018/4/30/how-to-drink-green-this-year
*Open pollinated corn: Boone County White, Bloody Butcher, Krug, Wapsie Valley, Glass Gem. Rye varieties (also open pollinated) Brasetto and Abruzzi.