After a five decade hiatus, Rosen Rye Whiskey is once again available in Pennsylvania.
Learn more about the journey from 5 ozs of seed to Straight Rye Whiskey.
“Work on this special project began in 2015 when the Delaware Valley Fields Foundation partnered with Greg Roth at Penn State’s Agricultural Extension. The mission was to return Rosen Rye to Pennsylvania farmers and, in turn, to its distillers. The first very small amount of Rosen (5 ounces) from the USDA seed bank was planted in the fall of 2015.
By 2016, Penn State had grown a few pounds of seed, and by the following year (funded by the Delaware Valley Fields Foundation), they had nearly an acre! By harvest in the summer of 2018, there was enough Rosen rye to distill into whiskey with about 50 pounds of seed left over to replant in the fall. After the harvest in July of 2019, Stoll & Wolfe Distillery had over 500 pounds of milled Rosen Rye (donated by the Delaware Valley Fields Foundation), and on September 7th, 2019 that rye was distilled into Pennsylvania rye whiskey.” -SeedSpark.com
From Seed Spark:
“No one has produced rye whiskey using Rosen Rye since Dick Stoll ceased using it to make whiskey at Michters Distillery in Schaefferstown, PA. When Michters slowed down production and finally closed in February of 1990, the distillery’s demand for the grain disappeared along with any reason for farmers to grow it. 30 years later, when Dick Stoll took on the role of master distiller at Stoll & Wolfe Distillery, his interest in using Rosen again revealed how impossible it would be to source.
Laura Fields and the Delaware Valley Fields Foundation recognized that this vacuum in the grain market was actually an exciting economic opportunity for local farmers. Distilleries had been an enormous economic driver in Pennsylvania’s agricultural supply chain before Prohibition and could perform that important role again. Stoll and Wolfe Distillery is among the first of many craft distilleries that will offer competitive pricing on heritage grains to farmers who choose to grow them. ‘It’s amazing that the last person to use Rosen Rye will be the first person to use Rosen Rye again,’ said Fields.”