A farmer tilling his grain fields in Wyoming. File photo ©2017, Mark Gillespie/CaskStrength Media.The end of April has grain farmers in North America and Europe poised to get into the fields and start planting this year’s crops – and some of that grain will eventually wind up as whisky. Historically, many farmers distilled some of their grain into whiskey – both to prevent it from spoiling and to create something that could be sold or bartered. While those days are many decades in the past, a number of farmers have jumped back into distilling as a way to cultivate more profits than they get from selling grain to commodities brokers. We’ll meet the farmers behind the Whiskey Acres Distilling Company in Illinois and Far North Spirits in Minnesota on this week’s WhiskyCast In-Depth. In the news, one of the pioneers in craft distilling has been sold, as William Grant & Sons acquired New York’s Tuthilltown Spirits this week. Tuthilltown co-founder Ralph Erenzo and Grant’s Jonathan Yusen join us to explain a deal seven years in the making. We’ll also try to answer a listener’s question about whether it’s safe to drink Bourbon from vintage ceramic decanters because of the possibility of lead contamination.

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