Farming is as important to Du Nord as it is to the state and nation. As a grain-to-glass distillery, we are especially dependent on farmers to provide the base grains from which we make our spirits. Du Nord is committed to working directly with farmers to source our grains and fermentables as locally as possible. Our commitment does not come without costs; it is much cheaper, and less time consuming, to bypass the farms and buy ethanol from large refineries. However, our spirits can be traced back to the fertile soil of a couple family farms and those farms receive needed support. Scroll down to learn more about the farmers that play an important part in our award winning spirits.
Mike and Mona Evens have, in one way or another, always been a part of Du Nord. Of course when their daughter said she wanted to start a distillery, they were bound to lend a helping hand. Today the Evens' grow corn and soybeans on their farms in Canby, Ivanhoe, and Cold Spring, Minnesota. The homestead farm in Cold Spring is the home to the corn that forms the basis of each of Du Nord's products. In 2014, Du Nord made the move to non-GMO corn; that corn has been grown at the Cold Spring farm ever since. Though they certainly enjoy their trips to the cities to bring corn to the distillery, Mike would rather be fishing, Mona would rather be hiking in the northwoods with her dog, and they both would rather be playing with their 3 grandchildren.
Steve Farms several plots of land in central Minnesota. Steve is a long time family friend of the Evens' and, when Chris Montana was looking for rye to make into whiskey, he was happy to supply a few thousand pounds.
Grains that have been used for distilling are typically low or devoid of carbohydrates but rich in proteins; this "stillage" is a waste product to a distillery, but it still has value to farm critters. Cully and Kari House raise cows, chickens, and hogs at their family farm in Nowthen, MN. A couple times a week, Cully comes to the distilley to collect the stillage in 1000 liter tanks. Cully feeds the Du Nord stillage to livestock at his farm and occasionally drops off some eggs or meat in return. Cully's farm completes the lifecycle of Du Nord's grain: from the farm, to the distillery, back to the farm.