"It's an honor to be leading the rebirth of Rosen rye on S. Manitou Island, 100 years after it was first planted there. This project has sparked an exciting collaboration that will allow us to create world-class spirits using the grains, climate and distilling techniques of Northern Michigan."
—Chad Munger, Founder
The Rebirth of Rosen Rye
at the Hutzler Farm on South Manitou Island
With a permit from the National Park Service (MWRSLBE2501075), Mammoth Distilling is—for the first time in 70 years—growing pure Rosen rye on South Manitou Island. The histories of prize-winning Rosen rye, South Manitou Island and the Prohibition-era whiskey trade are inextricably linked. The reintroduction of Rosen rye to the Hutzler Farm, where it was originally planted 100 years ago, will allow Mammoth Distilling to revive a varietal of rye celebrated by legal whiskey makers and moonshiners alike for its distinctive and superior flavor.
Michigan’s role as the entry point for three-quarters of the liquor smuggled into the U.S. during Prohibition is well documented; less so is the state’s contribution to domestic whiskey production during that period. As the sole-source of Prohibition's most celebrated whiskey grain, recognition of the South Manitou Island's contribution to American whiskey is overdue.
The seeds we planted there were obtained from the USDA seed bank in Colorado, propagated by the Michigan State University Bio Agriculture Research Center and certified by the Michigan Crop Improvement Association. As our South Manitou Island site expands, certified Rosen rye seed will be distributed to partner farms across Michigan and grown under contract for distillation of Mammoth's Northern Rye Whiskey.
Want more detail and documentation? Reach out to us through the link at the bottom of this page.