Vermont's WhistlePig is using stale beer to create new whiskies.
Kirk Miller

Vermont Distillery WhistlePig Is Turning Stale Beer Into Whiskey

Coronavirus created a beer glut. WhistlePig turned it into a 160-proof spirit.

Distilleries having been helping out with the fight against COVID-19 by producing hand sanitizer.

The beer industry has also helped out on that front, but they faced an additional challenge: the suds they already created were going stale.

But Vermont’s WhistlePig figured out a way to help save the brew and continue to produce the hand sanitizer — along with their coronavirus-fighting efforts, they’re converting stale beer from local breweries into whiskey.

Beer from the likes of Harpoon, Lawson’s, Long Trail, and Hill Farmstead is currently being trucked into the WhistlePig distillery, where the fermented grain is then run through copper stills and revived as a 160-proof spirit, according to a new report at Bloomberg. Besides providing a building block for whiskey, the efforts by WhistlePig will help reduce waste and decrease costs for the breweries (which are pivoting more toward cans and bottles).


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WhistlePig will eventually sell these aging spirits as limited-edition single barrels.

“A few years down the road, it’ll be a way to commemorate this moment in time, when we came together to help each other out,” Jeff Kozak, WhistlePig’s chief executive officer, tells Bloomberg. “As the liquid develops in the cask, we’ll work with each brewer on an aging strategy that best benefits their specific beer.”

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