After actual years of rumors, Agricole Hospitality partner Morgan Weber has officially announced that he will open Indianola Distilling Company right here in Houston.
The new distillery is more than three years in the making for Weber, who’s spent extensive time at the distilleries of Kentucky and beyond learning about the craft of making fine whiskey. His new project will use “near-extinct,” heirloom varieties of rye, wheat, and barley to produce a variety of spirits.
Weber is joined in this project by master distiller Dave Pickerell, who honed his fermentation abilities at the vaunted Maker’s Mark distillery in Kentucky. Also involved are Anson Mills and David Shields, two professors at the University of South Carolina who are helping Weber and Pickerell locate the rare grain varieties that will go into their product.
“The sheer amount of agricultural and historical knowledge between these two collectively is mind-blowing,” said Weber in a statement. “They helped me identify and locate seed-stock/growers for the grains that would have been used decades and centuries ago before monocultures took over and genetic diversity was thrown out the window.”
As for the specific types of booze that Indianola will produce, look for a Texas history lesson in a glass. For its Texas Hogshead Bourbon, Weber’s crack team located a variety of corn that was used to make masa (and whiskey) in Central Texas starting in the early 1800s. A brandy-based Texas High Plains Gin will also be on offer, along with peach brandy, and a Kentucky straight bourbon.
Spirits from Indianola Distilling Company will debut at Agricole Hospitality’s restaurants early next year, and will be carried in restaurants and liquor stores across Houston and Austin.