RockFilter Distillery: This distiller used to fly fighter jets, he's now crafting award winning whiskey
It’s not often you meet an organic farmer with a story as interesting as Christian Myrah’s. He went from flying fighter jets for the US Navy to driving tractors in small town Minnesota. And for the last five years or so, he’s been turning his farm produce into whiskey. Award winning at that.
“Tractor’s don’t go as fast as F-18s but the lifestyle is pretty good,” Christian told us. “As a fighter pilot I learned how to drink whiskey. And that qualified me to come back and make whiskey, right?!”
The former combat fighter pilot is making organic, small-batch whiskey and bourbon planted, tended, milled and distilled at RockFilter Distillery in Spring Grove, Minnesota — a town which began life as the first Norwegian settlement in the state.
The distillery is two miles away from where Christian grows the organic grains. It’s also down the road from the oldest water powered mill in Minnesota, Schech Mill, which still uses the original stones imported from France. The mill has been in operation since 1876 and for the last several years has been grinding Christian’s grains.
“I think it’s all about the process and how we treat the land and the soil and everything from start to finish. From farm to distillery, we literally control the process from the time the seed goes into the ground to the time it goes into the bottle,” Christian said.
Before opening the distillery, Christian went from working in a combat zone to sitting alone on his tractor. He didn’t miss getting shot at, but he did miss the fellowship.
“Our brand and what we’re all about is the camaraderie and the storytelling. You can see that in our bottles. They’re kind of like a story right there,” Christian said. “I went from fighter jet tailhooks to sheep hooks. Instead of catching cables on aircraft carriers, I use shepherd hooks to catch sheep. I’m not going to tell you what I do when I catch the sheep!”
Currently, RockFilter is only distributed within Minnesota.
“RackHouse Whiskey Club is a unique way to try some RockFIlter whiskey and have it delivered to your doorstep,” Christian helpfully reminded us.
What’s in the box
Rail Splitter Bourbon
This is an homage to Christian’s great, great-grandfather who, in the winter of 1856, split 10,000 oak fence rails by hand for a penny a piece, making himself a tidy $100 in the process. It’s a unique mash bill made up of 55% corn and 45% triticale, a grain developed in Scotland in the 19th century. It’s a cross between rye and wheat. Expect a luscious rye-like peppery bourbon, with the more delicate and soft finish of a traditional wheated bourbon.
Test Acre Experimental Series Bourbon
This is one you won’t find in liquor stores anywhere in the country. It’s made from Ohio blue clarage corn, a quarter of which is blackened with a blow torch, black barley and hulless oats.
Sign up to RackHouse Whiskey Club by April 10, 2021 to get this box.