The Haven
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The Haven

Sally’s Organic Compost Whiskey

delicious liquor from compost?

Sally’s specially designed organic compost still. Photo by Author

Who would have thought that you could make a powerful and delicious liquor from compost?

I suppose I should have had an idea. I always seemed to catch a little buzz whenever I packed a wad of it between cheek and gum in late summer while cutting grass or doing some other mundane lawn crap.

I always figured it was from the old coffee grounds mixed with worm castings, but no, it was some good ol’ fashion fermented compost.

Obviously Sally is smarter than me and figured out how to refine, bottle and market this stuff. Having a PhD in organic chemistry and a background in moonshinin’ probably helped.

It began when she and her husband, Buster got fed up with the total dominance of genetically modified corn in the marketplace. You simply cannot get a kernel of corn that doesn’t legally belong to Monsanto. While making moonshine from their corn has advantages such as it being an excellent herbicide, if you make whiskey from it you have to pay Monsanto a royalty.

Fuck that.

When I mentioned to Sally and Buster how much I enjoyed chewing on late summer compost, Sally’s eyes lit up. She immediately realized it wasn’t the worm castings and coffee grinds but instead the alcohol that was blitzing me out.

So over the winter, they made the rounds of local organic restaurants collecting food scraps until they had built up a huge mound of cornless compost that they cultivated. When the weather got a little warmer they pieced together a nice little still from some stainless steel they picked up at the local scrap yard.

To save a few bucks on packaging they raided people’s recycling bins picking out plastic jars. They found that they did not even need to clean them out. The compost whiskey simply absorbs whatever is in them.

It is an amazing operation and has been wildly successful. They produce and sell about 800 liters a month at their roadside whiskey stand just outside of Oakwiddle. It is all totally organic and GMO free. Every jar has its own distinct flavor depending on what was in originally in the jar. My favorites are the peanut butter flavored ones which are great with lunch or dinner. I am also partial to the mayonnaise versions, too, especially as a night cap.

If you are interested in brewing your own organic compost whiskey, Sally and Buster have written numerous articles for Still Life by Road Ale Press. They are happy to share their how-to with you. Stop by their stand for a dram.




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Bill Brokaw

Bill Brokaw

Photo taker and writer of Photo Stories.

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