Whiskey and Cider-Fed Pigs?!

A month ago I blogged about our approach to nutrition.  The reasons for this are many, but it’s mainly in an effort to practice, and promote, complete transparency.  Nowadays people are entirely removed from their food source. That distance leads to animals being exploited for profit, and the result is the abhorrent intensive farming practices we see today.

The theory is that connecting people back to their food will lead them to an understanding that their steak/lamb chop/pork roast came from a living, breathing, sentient animal, and that said animal deserves to be treated with as much respect and care as possible.  Now, linking that kind of education with an end to intensive farming practices is grossly simplifying what is a complex problem, but it’s a start.  It’s also a start that we’re able to make ourselves in our modest little venture, which makes me happy.

The aim with our feeding, as with everything we do, is to be sustainable.  At its core, growing animals for meat on the scale that the Western world now demands, simply isn’t sustainable.  Something has to change, hence our practice of feeding brewer mass, both in an effort to reduce the amount of grain grown for animal feed and to reduce the amount of waste going to landfill.  Since posting that blog article we’ve managed to increase our source of mash, and add cider apple pulp to our list of alcohol-making by products!

First of all, we were contacted by the good folk at Wickerman Cider, who have both a web page  and Facebook presence .  One of the owners is a market customer of ours, and had heard of our brewer mash practices.  They’re ramping up their own production, and found themselves with quite a bit of apple pulp. In fact, they had over 4 tonnes of it.

Now, this is 4 tonnes of what is effectively just crushed apples.  Why wouldn’t that be fed to stock animals?!

This is Jon. He's the legend from Wicker Man Cider who delivered over 4 tonnes of apple pulp to our place. He then shovelled half of it!

This is Jon. He’s the legend from Wicker Man Cider who delivered over 4 tonnes of apple pulp to our place. He then shovelled half of it!

We were concerned at first that the apples would upset the pig’s stomachs.  We took it easy, adding a relatively small amount to their ration, and we had no problems at all.  The pigs LOVE the apple in their feed too.  Seriously, they go nuts for it. It’s awesome. 🙂

Our next win was with a distillery called Tin Shed Distilling Company, who make a whiskey called Iniquity .  The first part of the distilling process is to make a wort, just like when brewing beer.  The tricky part comes when they distil that down to make whiskey, and the super cool part is when they then age that to make it delicious.  🙂

This is a still. It's where magic happens.

This is a still. It’s where magic happens.

The result at the start of whiskey making is the same as beer making though – brewers mash.  The guys from Tin Shed called to say they were also ramping up their production, and would be regularly producing a tonne or more of mash a week.  They’re located quite close to our mates at Pirate Life, so the logistics are pretty easy and we don’t need to make any special trips.

This is well over a tonne of brewers mash. Two years later will be whiskey. It's not a short process...

This is well over a tonne of brewers mash. Two years later will be whiskey. It’s not a short process…

I can’t express just how exciting this is for us.  Each one of these producers who sees what we’re doing and who hears our message gets us one step closer to a sustainable meat future.  Of course, it doesn’t all have to be linked to alcohol, but so far we’re not complaining. 🙂


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