"We're the only distillery in North America that malts its own barley," says Wasmund. "And we do it the traditional way."
Wasmund uses a strain of barley called 'Thoroughbred' that was developed by Virginia Tech. He buys his grain exclusively from a Northern Neck farmer named Billy Dawson, who has an operation at Heathsville.
Not only does Wasmund malt his own barley, using apple and cherry wood smoke, he also buys his grain locally. I talked to a brewer last Spring who was interested in brewing with locally grown barley, which I thought was an interesting idea. I'm not aware of any local craft beer brewers who take on the malting process themselves. That would certainly add a local flavor aspect to the brewing process.
Read the Free Lance-Star profile of Rick Wasmund and Copper Fox Distillery here.