Distiller magazine

Distiller_Summer 2015

Distiller magazine a publication of the American Distilling Institute, the Voice of Artisan Distilling; devoted to the craft spirits industry: vendors and distillers alike.

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90 distiller Yeast is an amazing organism. It's a fungus, one we encounter every day—not only through the fermented beverages we drink and the bread we eat, but also in the very air we breath. For millennia, humankind collaborated with wild yeast to produce wine, beer and bread, yet with no understanding how it functioned on a molecular level. With the invention of the microscope, we developed the skills and techniques to domesticate a few strains of yeast suitable to our needs, but the vast majority remain wild, floating on the wind, ready to be discovered (or avoided). In 2009, Rob Arnold moved from Tennessee to Dallas to begin a doctoral program in biochemistry. Having earned a bachelor's degree in microbiology, Arnold was at home in the labs of the University of Texas. He spent many of his days isolating marine bacteria from samples of sea water. Yet, in his off time, Arnold began to dream of starting a dis- tillery. His family had been in the alcohol industry for gen- erations, and it seemed to him the right avenue for applying his skills and passion. From Bark to Bourbon The Wild Yeast of Firestone & Robertson Distilling Co. story & photography by ERIC ZANDONA DEFINING CRAFT

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