The Brewhaus

Toasting to Tradition: The Revival of Northwest Arkansas's Historic Apple Brandy Distillery

January 26, 2024 The BeerdBro / Kyle Alexander / Seth Lankford Season 1 Episode 7
The Brewhaus
Toasting to Tradition: The Revival of Northwest Arkansas's Historic Apple Brandy Distillery
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Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

Sipping on nostalgia and the rich heritage of Northwest Arkansas, I had the privilege of hosting Kyle Alexander and Seth Lankford on a spirited odyssey through time as we talked about RG Macon & Carson, the region's incredible apple brandy brand. Our glasses clinked to the melody of history (metaphorically speaking, at least) as we resurrected the tale of a legendary local distillery, once the toast of prohibition-era America. Seth, with an educator's flair, intertwined anecdotes of local lore with the distillery's saga, while Kyle and I relished the communal bond that seems almost distilled into the spirit itself.

When Matt, the entrepreneurial force behind the brand's revival, turned a chance healthcare encounter into a blossoming business, it was a story that captured more than just the essence of apple brandy. Our conversation meandered through his journey, examining partnerships with Missouri and Arkansas distilleries that brought distinct flavors to the brandy, thanks to their unique distillation practices. Seth's personal pivot into the brand's history, ignited by a date at an apple brandy event, highlighted the serendipitous connections often found in the pursuit of passion.

Drawing the curtain on our session, we tipped our hats to the Macon brothers of Nashville, and of course Mr. Carson, acknowledging the rich symphony of history and music that courses through the region's veins. The support for small businesses in Northwest Arkansas echo the community's appreciation for heritage and craftsmanship. And as our listeners are invited to mix their own piece of history with the Apple Brandy Toddy recipe from our website, we raise our glasses to the spirit of rediscovery and the shared stories that connect us all.

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Learn more about RG Macon & Carson here: https://arkansasapplebrandy.com/

Visit https://bit.ly/uscca-info now to learn more about becoming a member of the USCCA and defend your freedom today!

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Learn more about becoming a member of the United States Concealed Carry Association (USCCA) here: https://bit.ly/uscca-info

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The Brewhaus is a production of Remnant Media. To learn more about The Brewhaus or its host The BeerdBro, visit http://thebrewhaus.show/

Speaker 1:

Live from the rolling hills of Northwest Arkansas. This is the Brew House.

Speaker 2:

Hey everyone, what's going on? It's the Beard Bro and I'm back again with another exciting episode. Here on the Brew House In the studio with me today I've got a couple guys that there were supposed to be three of us today and one guy unfortunately had a little work situation that he just had to take care of, and so today I've got some guests that we're going to talk about a really awesome brand here in Northwest Arkansas, very local, very authentic, and just some folks that I'm not going to get into it yet. First, before we jump in, I do have to give a massive shout out to my friends over at Mantis Tech and the Mantis X10, because if you are a firearms person, if you're looking to improve your shot, I can't say enough good about Mantis X10. It has helped me. This is not a paid ad, by the way. This is me actually bragging, because I bought the X10 back in December and there's an affiliate link down here. If you want to check out your own, check out the affiliate link in the show notes. But I have already improved my shot, I would say, about 10% more accurate within just the last three or four weeks. So I'm excited about that. I'm looking at that at the range, whether it's dry fire at home or live fire at the range, it's really awesome. So check that out.

Speaker 2:

That said, I'm going to get back into it here because I've got my notes. If you're watching this on YouTube, you're going to see me reading the notes, that's okay. We've got some guys who they are actually. Like I said, they're revitalizing a brand. They've been doing this for a while now and I'll let them tell the story of the history of it, how it came about. But they found a brand of Apple Brandy that was native to Northwest Arkansas here, something that really took off right, and these guys have figured out how to bring it back, not only the recipe and everything, but also they're honoring the kind of the history of it and everything.

Speaker 2:

And there's a lot of cool, rich history in Northwest Arkansas here when it comes to apples, apple orchards, apple processing, and then, of course, you know we've got the guys in the whole prohibition thing. Screw the government, yeah. So let's get into it here. I've got Kyle Alexander and I've got Seth Langford. Did I say that right? Yes, langford, all right, all right. So I got that there and we are actually.

Speaker 2:

If you were watching my previous show Beyond the Tap. You know that Kyle and Matt who is unfortunately not able to be with us tonight, but he actually they came on there and shared a little bit of the history of the brand. But since then, I think, seth, you've actually learned a lot more history. You're a history major and now you're a history teacher, yeah, and so you're here locally. You know a lot about the past of the region, about the brand and about really the rich history here in Northwest Arkansas. So not only do they have a really fantastic Apple brandy, but they also have a great Woofig vodka. And did I see a gin around here? There's a gin over there, there's a gin.

Speaker 4:

What's on the table? It's on the bar, actually.

Speaker 2:

So I was going to say I saw it and I had to try it because I'm not really a gin guy. But where am I that one doesn't suck? I say that with the full love and respect that Lee actually gave me from Bentonville Brewing whenever he tasted my very first home brew and he said that tastes like beer. And I said, wow, that's actually a really good compliment that is. And it was an all grain, it was not an additive or a concentrate or anything. So I was pretty happy with that. But yeah, guys, welcome to the show. We've got Kyle and Seth here, so welcome Well thanks for having us, brian.

Speaker 4:

We appreciate this man and we had a ball last time we were at on the tap man. That was great, that was a great experience. So thanks for having us back again. It's been a little bit yeah a lot of things have happened since then.

Speaker 2:

I'll be honest. My studio is a little smaller.

Speaker 4:

now it's all good, it's called my house. It's a great studio, hey man we make it happen Awesome, so yeah. So I thought I'd just share a little, a little story. You like stories?

Speaker 2:

Let's jump on in.

Speaker 4:

So I mean, what do we do? We tell stories.

Speaker 2:

Absolutely. We got water here. We've got the Apple, brandy and some.

Speaker 4:

Woofie. So I think we're all set you know what?

Speaker 2:

The one thing I don't have. I'll let you start talking, but I'm going to grab me a little tasting cup over here, so you should catch me up man, how, how's everything been, and also just kind of give that intro of of who you are and how. How did you find out about RG making and Carson?

Speaker 4:

Yeah, this is a great story. So a short version of the story is way back in 2014, 2015, I was going to a Methodist men's mentoring activity. I won't give any information about the church or where it was or anything like that, but they're great guys and one of the gentleman that was there had been a historical Bentonville figure for many, many decades and he said you know what, kyle, there was a huge distillery in downtown Bentonville and I said really, wasn't that a dry county? Back then he goes oh yeah, it was all the way up to like what 2012?

Speaker 4:

I think it was yeah, exactly, and so he. He basically regaled me with the story and said you know, it was the largest distiller of branding west of the Mississippi. And come to find out, for a period of time it was the largest branded distillery in the United States for a period of time.

Speaker 4:

And it was all right here in a dry county, 200 yards from the courthouse annex downtown Bentonville, on town branch, in the pilings, the foundation of that building are all still there. And he said I'd love to show you all around that, but we can't because somebody owns that property. I was like, oh well, okay, okay. So then I took that bit of information he gave me about making in Carson and I went to our friends at the shallow history museum and the curator there and the researchers there helped me do some research and the rest is truly history. Yeah, and we started doing additional research and said you know, somebody should rescue this brand because it's not only part of the history of Northwest Arkansas, it's an actual business that created so many jobs and so much I'll call it this a lot of income.

Speaker 4:

Right, yeah, for the community back in its day. Because they were taking they were they were early on in the green era right, because they were taking all the seconds, the warmers, the grounders, any of the first fruits that the farmers and the orchardmen couldn't sell. They were converting it to brandy, and so you'd have these Apple wagons backed up in downtown Bentonville waiting to get to the distillery, and you think traffic's bad now? Yeah, imagine that traffic actually outputting material on the road like horses and mules do. Yes, so, and it would take hours and hours Different kind of emissions there.

Speaker 4:

Different kind of emissions. We talk about green, right, so. But what was great is it gave those orchardmen an opportunity to sell their fruit that they couldn't sell those first fruits on the marketplace, and they made a beautiful Apple brandy out of it. Not only that, they made peach and pear and all kinds of things. Yeah, they made all kinds. Oh, wow. So it's just an amazing story. And so before prohibition, bentonville was home to the largest brandy distiller in the United States, in a dry county 200 yards from the courthouse. Annex how about that?

Speaker 2:

That's pretty impressive because, like, especially if you know our region, here we got those nice down home roots right. It's very old school, traditional values, and so to kind of see something like that distillery being so large, that's impressive.

Speaker 4:

I think it's amazing, and one of the making brothers, I'll let Seth bring us with the facts here, because that's what he's good at he's a fact checker for me.

Speaker 2:

That's good, absolutely. You had to have one of those. Maybe, you should work for our government or something.

Speaker 1:

I don't know.

Speaker 2:

I mean they forget a few things here and there.

Speaker 4:

It is that season, isn't it?

Speaker 2:

Well, we're drinking. That's what we're doing today.

Speaker 4:

We are. We are. So to finish this story real quick, basically they did 220,000 gallons or actually 200,000 gallons roughly, of apple brandy out by rail every year, 200 yards from the courthouse annex. A year Yep Out of a dry county and so went all over the world, not just domestically, they shipped it all over.

Speaker 2:

So now real quick question on that. So how does that rank up to distillage today? Right, like what's? It'll be small, that's fine, but like, yeah, like I would imagine, for that time that was the top, that was the top producer. You said right, yes, but then it's like so. So what? How have we scaled nowadays? What's say, a similar brandy distillery doing today?

Speaker 4:

Well, let's put this in perspective. Everybody who is a fan of bourbon right, I'm looking at the camera and telling our fans this right, bourbon brandy, our brandy tastes like bourbon. All these things, it's a big deal, right? So if you think about Pappy, for instance, pappy might do 50,000 bottles, okay, okay, of just Pappy, yeah, just Pappy, highly allocated. You know, they may do more, they may do less. I mean, I'm just giving a rough number here, but my point is that's 50,000 bottles, we do about 1200.

Speaker 1:

Oh, okay, okay.

Speaker 4:

Okay, okay, as a craft distiller and most people back in those days were craft distillers yeah, not big producers, absolutely. Now. There were large producers, obviously before prohibition, but really all that came to the mechanized world after prohibition.

Speaker 4:

In the way that we know it today and you know, in Ireland their Irish whiskey went from something like 40 plus distillers in Ireland before prohibition in World War II and then by the time the 60s rolled around, they had four distillers. So Really yeah. So this is just a case in point. The world has changed and it's reverted back to its roots. We're going back to, hopefully, a philosophy of local is great. Support local, Provide opportunities for local people and build your own brand, build your own thing, and then come alongside some of the major producers and be a craft distiller and augment the opportunities and the options that the consumer has, and that's what we hope to do with our Apple brandy. A little bit of that is a good thing.

Speaker 2:

Now remind me, when did you first find this brand?

Speaker 4:

So it would have been 2014, 2015. Ok, and then we started making product about 2017, 2018. Ok, that time frame. And then our first bottles came for sale about 2019. Ok, and then COVID hit.

Speaker 3:

So you know there have been some headwinds.

Speaker 4:

Yeah, it was a little hiccup in that right yeah.

Speaker 2:

But, trust me, I tried to launch, you know, my first podcast right in March of 2020. That's when we were hanging out, yay, awesome, yeah, that was the best time to try and get people to want to hang out together.

Speaker 4:

But people were watching it because they didn't have anything else to do. So then there's that there's an upside.

Speaker 2:

So you got into it 2014, 15,. You said when did Matt come along? Because let's talk about him, because obviously he's not here. He was like second partner, right, and then kind of the venture here.

Speaker 4:

So. So there were a number of friends of mine that got friends of mine, if I can speak, that got together over there. This is it actually. Yeah, but no slurring intended there. But. But we had some great friends who who came together who kind of talked about how could we make this happen? And, and we started working through the details of that, had a lot of people involved and a lot of people excited about the idea.

Speaker 4:

And as time went on, people fell off because careers, you know, other life headwinds, yeah, life, kids, whatever the thing was. And so Matt stuck with it. Excellent entrepreneur, a young person who was already successful in a small business, and said hey, man, we met long story there. But we met because he was working in the health care industry and he was my tech. Ok, so I would see him after a surgery that I had about every two weeks. Ok, so we visited for many weeks along the way and I was telling him about this crazy idea and he said you know, I'd really like to be a part of that. And so the rest is history. So we, we got this thing going and we have a great partner distiller in in Missouri, Tall Pines absolutely.

Speaker 4:

Across the border here in Missouri and in Jane Noel area and they make a different product than we have in Arkansas. We have a distiller here in Arkansas that we partner with that's falling rock. They're the ones that have the gin that we talked about.

Speaker 2:

Yeah.

Speaker 4:

And they also make the Wufig vodka for us. So you got the brandy and the vodka. It all comes out of Northwest Arkansas at a little craft distiller in in Madison County, just about 50 minutes from here.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, absolutely Well, and it's. It's funny you, you bring up Tall Pines too, because don't tell anybody, definitely don't put this on the internet. But I really like their personal recipes because I know they started out kind of as a franchise right and then they kind of really started growing their own recipes and I'm going, I actually really like their own recipes more than I like the original stuff that they had. They're doing some really impressive things up there, so I would say I mean we've got some great distillers in the region here.

Speaker 4:

They really are amazing and Joe and Tara are doing an outstanding job. And, to cut this to the chase, we have two kinds of brandy. We have the higher ABV in Missouri and the lower ABV in Arkansas. So the higher ABV in Missouri actually tastes more like apples than the one in Arkansas. Why is that? I think the ABV in their process is different enough that it's the same apples and it's the same recipe for basically fermenting and all of that that we use in Arkansas, but the way it's distilled and the proof that it comes out at it's just different, and so you can't buy the stuff that we make at Tall Pines in Arkansas. But it's easy to cross the border and go to the distillery and buy some, or go to McAdoodles and Pyreville and buy some. So it's just it's super, it's super great.

Speaker 3:

That's our Ozark Reserve, is what we've kind of labeled that Okay.

Speaker 2:

All right, I'm going to have to swing up there, then I'm going to have to.

Speaker 3:

Trademark Ozark Reserve. That's it, man, that's it.

Speaker 2:

So then, seth, how did you come into this? Because obviously these guys had it going for a while, and then you, like I know your history guy, and so tell us a little bit, how did you come into the picture here?

Speaker 3:

So I'm younger, I was in college and I was dating at the time my girlfriend now wife and broke, you know. But we like, we like, we like to drink every now and then. And so we said, hey, 10 bucks for a ticket to go to guess who we could. And they did it once a month on Thursdays. And we said, hey, there's like some sort of Apple Brandy one, let's go check that one out. And honestly, we're just doing all of them.

Speaker 2:

But yeah, that's it. We were like hey let's do it.

Speaker 3:

So we, we showed up and Kyle and I think it was just you at the time at that event specifically, but made all kinds of cocktails with it and we were. I love the product, but what really sold me over the edge was the history with it, that there was this giant distillery here in Northwest Arkansas in a dry county and it was one of the largest of its kind in the United States, or at least in that region. And so as the night was going on it was about an hour hour and a half class, something like that One of the gentlemen, he said in our name it's RG Makin and Carson at the time and it was his name, but he said. The guy raised his hand. He said, hey, okay, you've told us about these Makin brothers, but like, who's Carson and Kyle? I think it threw you off. But you said, honestly, I don't know it's true, but I didn't think.

Speaker 3:

I think you and you made a quib and you a joke, and you said but if anybody could find out it'd be well worth your time, Kind of gave it cheers, and so me, because last time you and I chatted I don't think you had the history on Carson yet it actually took quite a bit of research with which Seth uncovered.

Speaker 4:

He's a great historian and sleuth for that.

Speaker 3:

Yeah, so I was. I was saying, hey, I'm a history major in college, I might as well give this a shot. And so I did a little bit of research, took a few days, but eventually I find out Carson. John Carson was his name, john T Carson. He lived in Nashville.

Speaker 2:

Okay.

Speaker 3:

And he was just, he was an investor, I think. Obviously I've stuck around for a while so I've done a little more research. I think he was a family friend who kind of helped out a little bit, but he was the initial investor for the brand and so I reached out to Kyle and I said, hey, I found your guy.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, that's so cool.

Speaker 3:

This is him. Yeah, the big brains on brand.

Speaker 2:

That's him, man. You got to get him so.

Speaker 3:

Kyle followed through on his word and said yeah, I would love to meet and get you a bottle of brandy, because you know broke college kid likes good booze. We'll work for booze.

Speaker 2:

That's it, man. That's it, don't we all? That's it, man. Why do you think I have the podcast? No Booze and bullets, let's go Like man.

Speaker 3:

But from then on, as I was doing research, I found a lot of other avenues that were not completed yet. This is so cool, no, and I had asked around to a couple of the different historical societies here in Northwest Arkansas and nobody had like a clear, they just had the general summary Okay, it was here from this time to this time, led by these guys, maybe the largest West of the Mississippi, I don't know, and so I couldn't put it down.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, I kept like a good book opening those doors?

Speaker 3:

Yes, exactly.

Speaker 2:

And when you find a lot of resources that everybody has little pieces, then you it's like I can't help but want to put it together, Right.

Speaker 3:

And so it's come out to be a really interesting story with the whole, the whole history of the distillery. Yeah, yeah, and so that's how I got, that's how I got introduced to here.

Speaker 4:

And, and I was, and I was thrilled that he was there. I mean, it's like a little bit of divine providence? Yeah, probably, and you know I don't have time to do that, so this was a gift. I mean it absolutely was. And of course, we became fast friends and Matt became friends with, with the man, and we just have. We've grown this story and and and I'll share with you some really cool milestones from the past few years since we were on last. Yeah, absolutely.

Speaker 2:

Fill me in here.

Speaker 4:

So this actually goes hand hand and glove with with what Seth is talking about, because we essentially took the story to a couple of different historical foundations around the area so Rodgers Historical Museum Foundation, bentonville History Museum, and, and, and quite a few other people and we were like gosh, this is a great story, we'd love to tell it, we'd love to be able to share more history about this, and so we've had the distinct what we've had, the distinct pleasure. I really am not slurring, I just can't speak. Pregame.

Speaker 2:

Actually we did I promise this is a great episode, guys, you're in for a treat.

Speaker 4:

If this is all that gets me going, we're all in trouble.

Speaker 2:

So working in the booze business?

Speaker 4:

Come on, man, I think my liver is kaput, but anyway, that's another story, so so short version of this is man. We. We had the great honor and privilege of being able to speak to Rodgers Historical Museum Foundation on two occasions telling the community about the story, the Bentonville History Museum and their trustees and friends of the museum. We were able to tell them that story. It morphed into an opportunity to do an event with Crystal Bridges Wednesday on the water. Wow, so we were actually the artist in residence. God only knows why they asked me, but me and Matt got the there.

Speaker 2:

Kind of a big deal around here.

Speaker 3:

Yeah, it's kind of a big deal.

Speaker 4:

Yeah, my it's amazing, it's such an honor to be able to do that and share the story. Yeah, yeah.

Speaker 2:

No, I mean, I think that's that's really cool, because, especially around here, you're going back to the comment we made earlier of, like we have a lot of good heritage here, right, and we have like a lot of good of those, those down home values and kind of that that really neighborly feel to this region. So to have a brand that was huge died off and then now you're bringing it back to life, right, you guys are taking something that you guys figured out, the recipe and everything now you're going to do it.

Speaker 4:

Well, we would never know the recipe, but we got as close as we could.

Speaker 3:

I'm still looking, I'm still digging.

Speaker 2:

I think you'll find it I feel like Seth is gonna be the guy who figures out exactly what RG making in Carson Like there's gonna be a bottle somewhere.

Speaker 3:

If you can find it, let us know. I do know historically because through the research I found that they were what's called at the time and I don't know if it's still the terminology but wholesale distributors. So what they would do yeah, rectifiers, they did not rectify, and so what they would do is they would sell it by the barrel to these different saloons or bars or something like that, and then they would make their own in-house recipe with different blends. So they would do their own blended Bentonville part of it having Bentonville.

Speaker 2:

So it's like you see some of the moonshine distillers or something like that. That'll give you kind of the straight stuff that you can then add, create your own additives or anything else.

Speaker 4:

And that's what a rectifier does he takes what somebody else has produced and makes it their own. That's the short version of that story. There's a lot more to it, but that's really cool.

Speaker 2:

So essentially they would sell it off in this large batch at certain points.

Speaker 3:

Yeah, they would sell it in the giant 54 gallon barrels at the time. I think is what they used.

Speaker 2:

So okay, so it's funny because we're just getting this podcast relaunch right now, but I've got to say nothing would make me happier than to find if there was someone out there who did have a bottle of this, even if it is old and rancid like legit. Bring it forward, because we can figure this out right. That'd be pretty amazing. We would love that.

Speaker 3:

If you've got it. If you've got it looking at you, if you've got it, let us know We'll make it worth your time.

Speaker 2:

I feel like and I'm not just saying that because like hey, it's fun to talk about, but like I really do think there's got to be somebody out there who like stash some away right, and then like their grandfather, their great grandfather, whatever you know, had it stuck it somewhere under some floorboards.

Speaker 4:

It is entirely possible. I mean, this is a small community originally and there are a lot of long time residents in this community, so it is possible. I will say this most of the stuff that wasn't absconded after a shift in a small crock or a vessel of some sort that they took home with them, since it was a dry county they couldn't sell it and they couldn't buy it, but it's quality control.

Speaker 2:

I think you can do this, they could probably obtain it.

Speaker 4:

There's a story about this we'll share another day, maybe on another podcast, but anyway they would take it home, some home with them and it would probably not be in a labeled crock right. So it's gonna be a little more difficult from that perspective. But I will tell you, what we did was different and different by design. We wanted to take something made out of Ozark plateau apples as close as we could get to this particular area, since we used to be the largest orchard area in the country until the 1930s. Northwest Arkansas produced more apples than anywhere else Until the 1930s. A lot of people don't know that that was our cottage industry that got this area going. From an economic standpoint. It was the economic engine.

Speaker 2:

But really, yeah, it's funny to see how many regions around Northwest Arkansas have those apple names tied in. I do Right and so.

Speaker 3:

I mean, like even today the state flowers, the apple blossom, the state fruit is, I think it's the apple. If it's not, I'd be surprised Like there's still a lot of that cultural heritage that is recognized even in through today.

Speaker 4:

It's super influential yeah, and I love the fact that the Macon brothers were the first real successful entrepreneurs in Northwest Arkansas and downtown Bentonville, and it's way before big trucking, big chicken or big box. So what's really cool is trying to stay as local as we can, not only with the produce, the apples and everything else, but we source our barrels from hot springs from a four generation Cooper.

Speaker 2:

OK, so this guy Now a Cooper. Really quick for those listening what's a Cooper?

Speaker 4:

Cooper is a person who makes barrels. Ok, so Jay Gibbs family has been making barrels for four generations, and some might say that Jay's grandfather made barrels for Capone back when hot springs was a little Chicago. Rumor has it. Rumor has it. Maybe not, maybe, maybe not.

Speaker 2:

We don't know, he knows a guy.

Speaker 4:

You know. But all I can say is he's using 1930s equipment to make barrels, our barrels, and he does it to our specification, and it's all Arkansas and Missouri, white Oak, and he chars it straight the way we want it, right? And that is the thing that makes the difference in flavors for most distillates right, especially when you talk about Bourbons and Whiskies. It's all about the barrel 100%. We might be using 100% apples for the Ozark plateau to make something that tastes like bourbon, but it has to be called brandy because it's 100% apples. Ok, it's 100% fruit. So it's a brandy by law, whereas in the world of bourbon, bourbon is a vegetable. It's 51% corn by law, right?

Speaker 2:

Hey babe, that's right, I'm having a salad for dinner.

Speaker 4:

Corn salad. But you know, I got to say I mean, we want to do something as local and as traditional as we possibly can and we're trying really hard. We may not have the original recipe, but we're doing something that tastes a lot like bourbon, but it's 100% apples.

Speaker 2:

Well, and you talk about localization, right, and how important it is to have those apples, the white oak, everything, because white oak is huge around here. I mean, there's literally a gas station called White Oak Station and it's one of the most popular around here, but they're dying off those white oaks.

Speaker 4:

They are, they are. I don't like that. Go ahead, sorry.

Speaker 2:

No, no, no, you're fine. I just I was thinking, though I'm like you know, that it eats, also resembles the story of Scotch right, and so you have your more space side, you have your more peaty mosses, peaty scotches, and then you have kind of that softer. That's not as peaty right, and was it more oak, is that? I don't know what the difference is. I'm not a Scotch guy, guys.

Speaker 4:

So if someone wants to come on the show and tell me about Scotch Islands. Islands, you know, highlands and Islands is what I always hear. But you know I'm not. I'm more of an Irish whiskey guy myself.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, see, so anyways. So, all right. So we've got the history, we've got how you got into it. We've got how you got into it. So, so now tell me, like, where, I guess, has there been any cool stories of what has this gotten you into right? Obviously, we talked about local right, we talked about with with Crystal Bridges and everything. There have been any stories that you're just like holy crap, this is real. This is real life. Right now. This is happening, and it's all because of this Apple brandy brand.

Speaker 4:

It's kind of funny because when you I'm sure Seth is this way, mass, probably this way we go to other parts of the country. We want to go visit other distillers. When I go see other brewers, we want to. And I'm going to let you tell your story about Nashville, because I think this is great. But, but I went to Tennessee recently. I met with some guys who have a distillery out there. Obviously, all of this is legitimate, right, the legitimate distillery. But but we're talking about how they got there started.

Speaker 4:

All the stories are vaguely familiar. Right, it's a passion, it's something that you really want to experiment with and figure out how you make this actually happen in real life. And and then all of a sudden you realize, dude, I'm in all these retailers and and, dude, at one time we had a contract with Sam's Club and there's a story behind that why we don't. But it isn't us, yeah, and so it's all.

Speaker 4:

It's all kind of just this tangled web in the world of craft distilling that we're all very familiar, and we have an Arkansas Distillers Guild and a bunch of great guys aren't many of us? There's over 350 brewers in Arkansas and growing and growing every day, but there's only less than 10 active distillers in the state of Arkansas. Really, yeah, so, okay. So that's where the story really gets interesting in Arkansas, because there aren't many of us and all of us that are involved. All are, I believe, friends and we want to help each other and, just like Kentucky, the beams and the you know all of the long term families in Kentucky they helped each other. Even though they were competitors, they were also friends and so somebody would have a Rick house burned down or they would have a distillery, a piece of equipment go down, and they would help each other out.

Speaker 2:

And I'm here for a while.

Speaker 4:

Yeah, and I feel like that's kind of the way we are. But on to the story about Nashville, because this is the connection I think is interesting.

Speaker 3:

Yeah, so originally the Macon brothers. There's Robert Gideon and Emery John, so Robert and John is what I call them and what everybody called them, but those two brothers had another brother actually as well. There's like 10 of them, the huge family, but they were like 10 kids, and the youngest one is actually the great grandfather of country music, uncle. Oh my gosh, I just blanked on the name, uncle, you'll come back to Uncle Macon.

Speaker 3:

You can look him up. If you look that up, you'll find it. And from exactly, and so he stayed in Nashville. Dave Macon, uncle Dave Macon.

Speaker 2:

I can't believe that blanked on his name, if you look him up.

Speaker 3:

He's the great grandfather of country music. He has a great grandson he's in his 60s or 70s now who's a military historian and in his retirement he's done a lot of research on his lineage and he wrote a book on it. And I picked it up just to see if I could find anything, even just from association. And I did find a couple of little tidbits here and there. But what I eventually did is I just reached out to the author, dr Michael D Dubler, if you interested, dixie Dew Drop is the name of his book, but you could. But I reached out to him and I said hey, you know, I kind of told the story of the distillery. I said I'd love to meet you. I have some family in Nashville. I wouldn't be a bother whatsoever. He was more than excited to come in. So I got to spend a whole day with him and he just showed me all around Nashville and all the roots of his family and the roots of the Macon brothers here that started this distillery in Bentonville.

Speaker 2:

Wow, so you got to like literally hang out with a piece of history like the family line there.

Speaker 3:

Yeah, he showed me all the graves. He showed me a house where they stayed. They grew up in a hotel. They were in the hotel business and their parents were when they were kids. If you've ever been to Nashville on Broadway Street, there's the solid rock, the hard rock cafe in my bed. Yeah, absolutely yeah, that's where their hotel used to be was their parking lot. Okay, so wow, yeah it's all kinds of little tidbits that.

Speaker 2:

I got to do. We were just there in the fall. I think we were there in November, Okay right on yeah. And so that was. I know exactly what you're talking about.

Speaker 3:

Yeah.

Speaker 2:

It's amazing.

Speaker 3:

So getting to travel to Nashville and really just go head first in with all of the little history that no one else knows and just kind of connecting the dots between everybody, that's been the most cool thing for me.

Speaker 2:

And that is awesome and yeah, and, like you know, we mentioned this way earlier, but you know, yeah, you're a history teacher now. So like this is like right up the alley, you're ramping up, that's amazing. So you're like yes, my degree is good. I think a lot of history majors would envy that.

Speaker 4:

Yeah.

Speaker 2:

So absolutely Absolutely. Well, guys, man, I've just I've really appreciated you guys being here and just kind of hearing about the brand and everything. I mean you guys now, now you all go around a different like any festivals or whiskey stuff like where, where can people find you? Obviously, this is we're recording at the beginning of 24 right now, so where can people find you maybe in this next few months coming up here?

Speaker 4:

Yeah, so we we try to get out to as many festivals as we can, but we do a lot of tastings here locally with West Arkansas and a lot of the spirits retail shops across the area and we love all those guys and they've been really supportive of us. I mean, you know, it's a great thing I love about Northwest Arkansas small business people. When they find a product that they like and they think that you're genuine and you're honest and you're trying to do things the right way, they support you and help you. And that's I can't say, enough good things about our local retailers and their willingness to support this crazy venture, and so we're always out there trying to do tastings. You can go to a website and check those out.

Speaker 2:

You say where can people find more information about?

Speaker 4:

all of our retailers are listed on the website, so just go to wwwarkansasbrandycom again.

Speaker 2:

That's Arkansas brandy dot com it's on brandy or Arkansas. Apple Brandy, arkansas.

Speaker 3:

Apple Brandy dot com.

Speaker 4:

That is really good man. It's a nice catch.

Speaker 2:

The funniest part was there was I, literally. I'm not even joking at this point. He hasn't had anything to drink, so I think it's been a day for you. It's been a long day.

Speaker 4:

You know it's, it's after the six o'clock hour and they were closed and it's a long day and I'm just having fun doing the compress man. So it's ArkansasAppleBrandycom, so go out there. We've got some great cocktails out there.

Speaker 3:

From a lot of local bartenders too.

Speaker 4:

One of our- local spirits and bartending aficionados. Is this on the website? Yes, it is.

Speaker 2:

Tell folks a little bit about this. This is a holiday cocktail you guys did recently.

Speaker 4:

So this is our holiday cocktail recipe we love. It's called the Apple Brandy Toddy and so it's a cider, brandy, butterscotch schnapps blend and you put your own spicing and things like that. But it was great over the holidays from Thanksgiving to Christmas. People love it. You can serve it hot or cold. If you serve it cold, it tastes like apple pie with ice cream. If you serve it hot, it's a whole different animal. I mean, it's just delicious. And there's another great cocktail on the website from a local.

Speaker 1:

We'll call it mixologist right, I guess that's what they call them these days.

Speaker 4:

So I'm an old man so I have to learn the lingo right Mer-tender, Mer-tender, Mixologist, whatever, but anyway. So there's so many great recipes out there that our local mixologist have come up with to use our product to really draw some attention and some interest into what we do. And bring some attention and interest into brandy, Because most people are excited about bourbon but they don't know much about brandy.

Speaker 3:

And, like we said, our product tastes more like a bourbon than it does a brandy. And so, honestly, if you are curious about our product and just want to just kind of maybe do a little bit of a twist with some of your friends or something like that, just taking any bourbon or whiskey recipe that you like with a cocktail and just replace it one to one with our product, yeah, you can do it all my favorite one on our website is the apple pie sour. That one is excellent.

Speaker 4:

I bet so man.

Speaker 3:

Yeah.

Speaker 4:

In fact we even have their recipe. We sent you so yeah, that's it, man, we'll be showing that in the show notes here as well. That'd be great. It was outstanding by the way that was at the Rogers Historical Museum Foundation too, and that's where else you can find us.

Speaker 3:

A lot of the historical museums and societies around here in Northwest Arkansas. We like to partner with them because if it wasn't for local history, this wouldn't be a thing. Yeah, so we love to give back to them as well. Specifically, we've done events with Rogers Historical Museum and then Bentonville History Museum as well. That's right. So any of their events, you could just check on them every now and then you'll probably see us in the rotation, that's right.

Speaker 4:

That's good, and I got to give a special shout out to Matt, since he couldn't be here today, Matt man. Matt Poe, my co-founder, and cheers to you, man. None of this would have happened without his backbreaking labor and extensive focus and making a lot of these things happen. Yeah, and he's just an amazing guy and a successful entrepreneur in his own right. Yeah, it takes a team to make crazy things happen. Yeah, it's good to have great team members.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, absolutely.

Speaker 4:

That's a shout out to Matt for all the help.

Speaker 2:

Yeah Well, again, thanks for being here. I really appreciate you sitting down taking time, because I know it's a Thursday, so we're kind of, you know, amazing Thursday, thursday, that's it Thursday.

Speaker 4:

Thursday and dry January. That's it. What are we going to do about that? I don't know people, but you can figure it out at home.

Speaker 2:

You've seen that meme floating around. It's like an Instagram deal. It's like you know what happens when you don't drink for a full 30 days. Yeah, me neither.

Speaker 3:

Cheers to that.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, so again, guys, thanks for checking out the Brew House here. I really appreciate you. If you haven't subscribed yet, be sure and hit that subscribe button, because we have more episodes coming. If you like booze, if you like beer, if you like firearms, firearms instructions, stuff like that.

Speaker 4:

If you like.

Speaker 2:

America. You need to be a part of this. If you like British ladders.

Speaker 2:

But yeah now, if you enjoy this kind of content, then hit that subscribe button. We're also on. Not only are we on every audio podcast platform that I can find, but also we are on YouTube. So if you're listening to this and you go, gee, I wonder what those idiots look like, well, you can go find it because we're on there. So, yeah, we appreciate you guys checking us out. And again, just my own personal plug here If you're into shooting, you're looking to improve your shot this year. Be sure and check out the link in the description here for the Mantis X10 as well. Fantastic product and I just can't get enough of it. So I got to tell everybody about it because I just really, really like it. That's cool.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, so we'll see you next time here on the Brewhouse and cheers. Thanks for having us.

Speaker 4:

Thanks for having us hey, thank you.

Speaker 1:

You've been listening to the Brewhouse, a production of remnant media. Be sure to subscribe via Apple Podcasts, spotify, google Podcasts or your other favorite podcasting platforms so you don't miss another great episode.

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