Wood Hat Distillers: Missouri heritage corn, Missouri barrels, Missouri water, Missouri whiskey

Agronimist Gary Hinegardner spent a career studying heritage corn types--corn that tastes good even though it might not yield as high as commercial hybrids. Then, he went to work for the world's largest oak barrel maker, using wood sourced from Missouri forests. On retirement, he put his knowledge to work creating world-class, gold-medal whiskeys, building a distillery in New Florence. Now, with 30 other distilleries, he launches a statewide "expedition" of Missouri spirits makers.

While Kentucky whiskeys are famous, they are made mostly with Missouri ingredients--corn, other grains, and aged in MIssouri-made barrels. Agronimist Gary Hinegardner spent a career studying heritage corn types--corn that tastes good even though it might not yield as high as commercial hybrids. Then, he went to work for the world's largest oak barrel maker, using wood sourced from Missouri forests. On retirement, he put his knowledge to work creating world-class, gold-medal whiskeys, building a distillery in New Florence. Now, with 30 other distilleries, he launches a statewide "expedition" of Missouri spirits makers.