Food & Drink » Food News

Royal Oak's Motor City Gas will now grow its own organic heirloom grain on an Ann Arbor farm


  • Courtesy of Motor City Gas

Royal Oak's Motor City Gas whiskey distillery recently purchased an Ann Arbor farm where it will grow its own organic heirloom grains.

"'Farm to Bottle' has been the dream from day one," co-owner Tonya Lockwood said in a statement.

Most American whiskey producers use mass-farmed and hybridized crops like corn, rye, wheat, and barley, but Motor City Gas has often used heirloom grains instead. Now, the distillery will be able to grow its own.

"Hybridization leads to reliable and productive crops, but a lot of the fun flavor and aroma nuances are lost for more economical traits," co-owner Rich Lockwood said in a statement. "With older heritage grains that have been allowed to naturally adapt to their environment, you get a seed that’s very expensive and challenging to grow, but comes packed with the flavors mother nature intended."

The farm's first crop will be organic buckwheat, followed by a heritage-style organic Danko rye from Poland and heirloom corn called Otto File that originated in England in the 19th century.

It'll take some time before the grains appear in MCG's whiskey — the company says it ages its whiskey for more than two years on the low end and more than six years on the high end.

Motor City Gas's taproom is located at 325 E. 4th St., Royal Oak, 248-599-1427;

So many restaurants, so little time. Sign up for our weekly food newsletter delivered every Friday morning for the latest Detroit dining news. Got a tip? Send it to [email protected].

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Detroit Metro Times. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Detroit Metro Times, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at [email protected].

Support Local Journalism.
Join the Detroit Metro Times Press Club

Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.

Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.

Join the Metro Times Press Club for as little as $5 a month.