View Full Version : Do you know where your alcohol comes from?

11-03-2009, 11:21

MGP Ingredients, Inc.

This company, with plants in Pekin, IL, Atchison and Onaga KS, like other bulk alcohol distillers provides many in the vodka, gin and cordial world with alcohol. Other used are food and pharmaceutical grade applications. It appears the Pekin plant is the main distillery but some is done at Atchison.

I wonder how many beverage companies buy their alcohol from 3rd parties as opposed to having their own distillation facilities....I assume the economics make buying from a bulk producer quite an advantage and yielding no appreciable difference in the alcohol produced. Premium, small operation distillers typically make their own...but as demand increases I suppose the allure of supplementing with bulk alcohol makes sense vs investing in facilities.

This is about what is left of the Peoria / Pekin area alcohol industry that used to be a world leader....pre and post prohibition. Hiram Walker was the last working whiskey distiller. Now the product probably goes into bulk vodka, gin etc. I would great to see some enterprising whiskey operation start up in that area again.

dave ziegler
11-04-2009, 11:54
Juno would the Plant in Pekin IL be the Old American Distilling Plant? As From what I had heard and read back in the day they were making gasohol there back in the mid to late 1970's after Continental Distilling bought their brands such as Bourbon Supreme, and Stillbrook Just wondered if that is the Old American Distilling Plant which was run for a long time by Philip Publicker.
Dave Z
Old Hickory America's Finest Bourbon

11-04-2009, 15:13
Hiram Walker has some above average 1950s-1980s whiskeys. Distinct taste.

11-04-2009, 15:36
Many of the trendy (and house brand) vodkas on the market are bought in bulk from producers like this. All you need is a fancy bottle, a cute name, and a marketing "hook" and you're in business.

11-04-2009, 17:18

Yes..." American Distilling was purchased by MGP Ingredients in 1980."

Right around the Publicker time.

Re the Pekin site....found this story:


On August 3-4, 1954, a disastrous fire and explosion occurred at the American Distillery 3 rack houses exploded and burned, 3 plant workers killed and a number of plant workers and firefighters were injured . This fire destroyed whisky storage rack houses and 42,000 barrels of aging whiskey, however, 220,000 barrels of alcohol in nearby rack houses and warehouses were saved.

> you can see the devastation

1979 fire


Pre Pro

The company used the brand names:
"American Pride", "Colonge Springs", "English Dry Gin", "Hopedale Rye", "Juniper Berry Gin", "Longwood", "Meadwood", "Old American Rye", "Old Colony Gin", "Pekinil Gin", "Silver Run Bourbon", "Silver Run Gin", and "Three Star Spirits."

11-04-2009, 18:57
Many of the trendy (and house brand) vodkas on the market are bought in bulk from producers like this. All you need is a fancy bottle, a cute name, and a marketing "hook" and you're in business.

A little gold foil and some ribbon and you are golden. I see OGD 114 here in two different boxes. Same whiskey same bottle, but one box is nicer. We aren't talking about a velvet lined wooden box here, just a nicer cardboard box. The nice throw away box costs about 12-15 bucks more.


11-04-2009, 21:13
MGP in Pekin and ADM in Peoria, and Diageo in Plainfield, are all that's left of the Illinois distilling industry, which was centered around Peoria (Pekin is nearby), but there were distilleries elsewhere in the state. Plainfield is where Diageo makes Smirnoff and other vodkas. As between MGP and ADM, MGP is supposed to be the better one for beverage quality neutral spirits. I'm told ADM's spirit is a little rougher and most of theirs goes to industrial, as opposed to beverage uses. LDI in Lawrenceburg, Indiana, makes GNS for Seagrams gin. I know of one plant in Iowa and another one in Idaho and that's about it in terms of who actually distills most U.S. made vodka, as well as the GNS base for most U.S. made gins and liqueurs. LDI and Buffalo Trace are the only U.S. distilleries where both GNS and whiskey are made, although LDI makes very little whiskey and BT makes very little GNS (just for Rain Vodka). Beam Global, Heaven Hill, Brown-Forman; all of them use GNS but none of them distill it.

Even some of the so-called craft distillers don't make ethanol from scratch. Many buy GNS and redistill it. Others buy GNS and mix it with their own from-scratch spirits. Some just buy GNS and bottle it. That's not necessarily bad. In some cases the artisanship is in redistilling in flavors, for gin and other flavored vodkas (gin is essentially flavored vodka). It's only bad when they mislead consumers. There is really no point to artisan-made GNS, since that is one thing a big industrial scale producer can always make better.

Most 'vodka makers' take industrial strength GNS and filter it, often several times, which is what primarily differentiates the cheaper vodkas from the better ones, the extent and type of filtering done.

11-05-2009, 00:01

ADM beverage alcohol


Grain Neutral Spirits, Distilled Spirits.

Grain Neutral Spirits, Distilled Spirits.

Everclear comes to mind......wicked punch additive...especially for the young and stupid...been there done that.

Everclear is a brand of neutral grain spirit that is available at concentrations of 75.5% alcohol (151 proof) and 95% alcohol (190 proof),[1]

I could not find which grain(s)....it has a corn image on the label....but doubtless other grains are used.

Compared to white dog...like BTs Mash Bill #1...at 125 proof. http://www.kentucky.com/106/story/719619.html

03-15-2010, 08:34
MGPI in Pekin shut down in February of 2009 but resumed production last month.

This thread contains a lot of good information about where vodka comes from.

03-15-2010, 11:02
Of the bulk producers I have tasted, DRInc in Idaho has the best tasting GNS by far.

03-16-2010, 18:16
Of the bulk producers I have tasted, DRInc in Idaho has the best tasting GNS by far.

Cleverest name too.