Mountain Life Podcast with Mountain Luxury’s Brandi Hammon – New World Distillery
“Brining the Spirits of the Past Alive in Your Glass – New World Distillery
Spirits distilled with Ogden Valley handpicked juniper berries, Utah sourced agave, and aged in reclaimed whiskey barrels from Kirby, Wyoming, New World Distillery promises a fresh take with local infusion. Living up to their philosophy of complete transparency, owners Chris and Ashley Cross shared their business plans and vision in this episode of Mountain Life with Brandi Hammon.
Understanding what’s behind the name reveals insights into how “New World Discovery” reflects the total business experience.
Our vacation travel… is throughout the New World. We started looking at botanicals that had their origins in the New World whether it was medicinal, [or] part of some sort of a ceremony connected to peoples throughout the New World. Then when we decided to do this as a business and actually take that leap it was really opening up a whole new world for us as far as connection to our community, as far as taking a passion that we have and taking it beyond just our experience and sharing that experience with other people. It’s a New World in terms of craft distilling… in terms of technology that’s being brought into the industry, that’s an aspect of New World Distillery that’s going to be unique as well. We have a lot of different connections with that name.
Following their trend of prioritizing locally and regionally sourced botanicals and aging barrels, Chris and Ashley also prefer local artisans. Before choosing a logo or label designs, the Cross’s bought a local painting which they later determined the style of the particular artist would work well for their brand. They tracked down BYU Idaho graduate Tyler Davis, who was thrilled at the opportunity to illustrate for NWD. Chris and Ashley gave Tyler homework to visit a liquor store and look at bottles, space and label area, then provided Tyler with a rendering of an Agave Goddess with Mayan and Aztec history. Tyler took that inspiration and designed the labels along with a logo for New World Distillery.
Although Agave isn’t grown in Utah, a company in Highland is a main distributor for all organic Agave in which NWD is sourcing their primary ingredient.
It was kind of neat that there was a local connection there [re: Global Goods Inc., from Highland, Utah]. The guy who runs the company [Global Goods Inc.] did a lot with the initial research on Agave as a sugar substitute and the low glycemic index, and all the health benefits, and knew it was going to take off as a product so he invested as a principle in a factory in Jalisco [Mexico]. There are essentially three big factories down there that produce most of the Agave. He happens to be a principle in one of them. So, it’s ironic that a Utah company owns a factory that is the source of our Agave. It’s all organic. [Global Goods Inc.] is all organic, and has high quality standards – all independent testing unlike the other factories so there’s a price premium of course, but it’s the best stuff you can get. And it happens to come through Utah.
After touring distilleries literally around the world, Chris and Ashley found not all distilleries are eco-friendly. In fact, to the opposite especially when it comes to water waste. Realizing the water challenges in Ogden Valley and the personal desire to operate a more efficient distillery, the Cross’s invested thousands into a 25 Ton water chilling recycling unit.
On typical distilleries, Ashley noted:
The cooling water is draining into a floor drain 24-7, and if we were to bring in a group of people through the distillery, especially if they were from the Valley, and they saw that, even for the one-hour they might be touring the distillery – that wouldn’t fly.
Chris and Ashley have spent years preparing for this moment. Not only have they toured distilleries, but they also attended Gin school in Amsterdam, as well as Rum school for its crossover viscous applications with Agave. Upon opening NWD will immediately offer non-aged spirits including Gin and Blanco Agave (Tequila). The goal is to open on Memorial Weekend, 2016, once the final hurdle of their barn inspired facility is complete.
I would say that’s definitely our biggest hurdle right now. I always say there’s going to be speed bumps and road blocks along the way and you just have to tackle them one by one and I think we’ve tackled some significant speed bumps and roadblocks, but right now the biggest is mother nature – is getting concrete poured when the weather is like this.
Our taste buds await the first sampling of New World Distillery’s offerings, and we wish them the best of luck as they prepare to kick off next summer with new Ogden Valley based spirits for the world to enjoy.