Royal Oak Motor City Gas will now grow its own organic heirloom grain on a farm in Ann Arbor

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  • Courtesy Motor City Gas

Royal Oak’s Motor City Gas whiskey distillery recently purchased an Ann Arbor farm where it will grow its own organic heirloom grains.

“Farm to Bottle was a dream from day one,” co-owner Tonya Lockwood said in a statement.

Most American whiskey makers use mass crops and hybrid crops like corn, rye, wheat, and barley, but Motor City Gas has often used heirloom grains instead. Now the distillery can grow its own.

“Hybridization makes for reliable and productive plants, but much of the fun taste and aroma nuances are lost for more economical traits,” co-owner Rich Lockwood said in a statement. “With older, cultivated grains that were able to naturally adapt to their surroundings, you get a seed that is very expensive and difficult to grow, but is filled with the flavors Mother Nature intended.”

The farm’s first harvest will be organic buckwheat, followed by a traditional style organic Danko rye from Poland and heirloom corn called Otto File, which originated in England in the 19th century.

It will take some time for the grains to appear in MCG’s whiskey – the company states that the whiskey is aged for over two years on the lower range and over six years on the upper range.

Motor City Gas taproom is located at 325 E. 4th St., Royal Oak, 248-599-1427;

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