Certified Organic Distilling in the Heart of Maine
Split Rock Distillery is named for a dirt road often traveled by the distillery’s two founders, Matt Page & Topher Mallory—the shortcut between their two homes. It’s the only shortcut they’ve ever taken to bring you Maine’s first organic spirits.
When Matt & Topher founded Split Rock, they promised themselves they’d handcraft their spirits the right way. That meant the long way: authentic, small batch grain to glass, selling no spirit not their own.
Matt & Topher spent evenings and weekends building a distillery and tasting room by hand in an old barn on historic Route One in Newcastle Maine. They sourced organic grains and fruits from the fields of farmers they count as friends, and demanded organic sugars and drew waters so pure locals still harvest winter ice. They refined their fermentations again and again to showcase the unique signatures of their still. And through it all, they gathered knowledge, inspiration, a helping hand and an honest opinion from other distillers, family and friends, and every stranger fairly met.
Friends & Family
Behind every barn there is a barn raising. Each and every time Matt & Topher walk through the doors of their own red barn, they think about everyone who lifted them up along the way. From the very beginning, every time those doors opened a friendly face walked in and asked how they could help. Thier friends and family provided the tools and materials needed, the expertise they didn’t have, the ideas and solutions that eluded them, and encouragement and support. It was dirty, frustrating work sometimes, and yet no one ever flinched.
Split Rock Distilling is committed to doing things the right way. From sourcing local, wholesome organic ingredients to only selling their own handcrafted spirits, they take every chance to give back to the community that has supported them since the beginning. They bottle their authentic spirits in recycled bottles with post-consumer waste paper labels, and since April of 2018 they have stepped up our sustainable practices by offsetting a portion of the distillery’s electrical usage with solar panels. The thirty-six solar panels on the roof in Newcastle, Maine produces over 11,000 kilowatt-hours of electricity each year, and offsets 9987 lbs of carbon. They further cut back on carbon emissions with an electric vehicle charger on-site.
Grain to Glass, and Back
When you commit to using good, wholesome organic ingredients, it turns out that you can do a lot of good.What goes into each glass of Split Rock organic spirits? Certified organic food grade corn, wheat and rye. Certified organic raw sugars. Certified organic wild Maine blueberries, organic herbs and aromatics. Waters pulled up through granite from the purest and cleanest estuary in the Northeast—the Damariscotta River, washed clean twice a day by the tides of the Great Salt Bay. Waters so abundant and so pure the locals still harvest winter ice. Matt & Topher looked at all this goodness, and knew they couldn’t let anything go to waste. It wasn’t enough to distill Maine’s first organic grain to glass whiskeys, rums, vodkas and gin. They had gone from farm to table, so we went back to the farm. The nutrient-rich mash that is left over from the distilling process is feeding the heirloom pigs on High on the Hog farm, fattening them round as whiskey barrels. The organic cows of Rainbow Farm and Straw Farm eat grains from the distillery along with their grasses. A local lab found so many minerals and nutrients in the water slurry that it’s sprayed as compost on the rolling fields of organic produce at Dandelion Spring Farm. Split Rocks bottle labels are printed on post consumer waste papers, and their bottles are recycled and re-used. The tasting room bar is made of salvaged wood. Every chance they get to reduce, re-use or recycle, they take.
There is a real split rock on Split Rock Road and we still drive past it almost every day—a rough plug of granite, cracked open long ago by time or skill (or a little of both) to reveal an unexpected smoothness within. That is the spirit of Split Rock.
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