Myer Farm Distillers is nestled in the heart of the Finger Lakes in the town of Ovid. The farm is located on what was originally part of Military Lot No. 13, being among a group of towns in central New York State that were known after the Revolutionary War as Military Tract Townships. The distillery production and tasting room are, in particular, located on Lot 5 of the original John V. Grove farm, overlooking Cayuga Lake from the west side of State Route 89. The Myer family has farmed in Ovid since as early as 1810 and has been working the land at their current location since 1868.
John Myer, Vice President and Farmer, has a B.S. in General Studies in Agriculture from Cornell University, and, as a fifth-generation farmer, has successfully nurtured & managed Myer Farm for over thirty-five years. John tends his largest acreage to corn and soybeans, in addition to a hundred acres of winter and spring wheat, and smaller various tracts including triticale, spelt, barley, rye, oats, clover, and alfalfa. The distillery uses approximately 10% of John’s grains for their entire line of production.
Joe Myer, President and Master Distiller, previously in the husbandry business, is an accomplished violinist and pianist, an award winning fine arts painter, and a published poet. In the year 2012, brothers Joe and John drew from their deep roots and range of skills and talents to pioneer the marriage of farming and distilling with a commitment to develop the finest spirits available in their country artisan revival.
The distillery was designed to reflect the old distilleries of Scotland. The pagoda topped stillhouse pays homage to Scottish malt houses, finished in hand-cut and chiseled wall stone. The still is a 650-liter copper pot still meticulously hand-crafted by CARL, Gmbh, Germany’s oldest still fabricator. The set-up includes a 5’ side column for producing whiskey, a gin head for vapor-infusion of traditional botanicals, and a 16’ rectification column for producing vodka. The rectification column contains nineteen plates at which alcohol (whose boiling point is 173ºF.) can separate from water (whose boiling point is 212ºF), each plate allowing for further distillation until the alcohol is captured and condensed at a distillation of 95% alcohol by volume, or 190 proof, which is the required minimum distillation strength for a spirit to be classified as vodka.
Farming practices: As a New York State Farm Distillery, Myer uses International Certification Services certified organic grain from their own farm—one of the largest and oldest currently operating organic farms in the Northeast United States—to craft distill their range of spirits. They both plant the seed and produce the spirit.