Millstone Spirits Group has partnered with former NFL star and philanthropist Malcolm Jenkins as a board member and investor along with his holding company, Malcolm Inc.
The addition for Millstone comes after the $1.4-million acquisition of Faber Distilling and assets, as well as the craft spirits group garnering a dozen medals at the ADI2022 International Spirits Competition.
A statement from Millstone notes that Master Distiller Robert Cassell is at the helm of New Liberty Distillery, and with Jenkins joining the ranks, there are plans to develop and distill a bourbon aimed squarely at diversity in the craft spirits industry by sourcing barley, wheat, rye, and corn exclusively from Black and Hispanic farmers.
“This venture was a natural fit for me and Malcolm Inc, as our companies are focused on creating equitable opportunities for black and brown entrepreneurs as well as storytelling,” Jenkins said in the prepared statement. “As the first spirit group to source from black and brown farmers and vendors from grain to glass, we will be creating a delicious scratch-bourbon that will help make serious systemic changes. To be an owner of a spirit that I’ve come to love makes it even more special.”
The Millstone statement explains how whiskey is an agricultural product made from cereal grains and part of a value-added supply chain. A farmer selling grains direct to a whiskey distillery makes far more profit than selling those grains in bulk to an aggregator, resulting in a larger profit margin for the farmer, and freedom from commodity pricing.
Cassell and Jenkins are currently seeking out minority-owned farms that produce chemical-free, non-GMO grains to partner with for letters of intent committing to purchasing current and future crops, providing a viable resource for revenue in the coming years.
“Until we started this process, I honestly had no idea how challenging it would be to source yellow dent corn from a black or brown farmer, anywhere in the United States,” Cassell said. “In short, we look forward to creating fanciful blockchain whiskey, with a social purpose.”
Farmers interested in getting involved can reach out to the team at [email protected]
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