Microdistillery gains county board approval

Matt and Joe Brugger moved a step closer last Wednesday, Feb. 26, to establishing a microdistillery on the family farm west of Albion near Akron.
Their company, Upstream Farms Distillery, received a recommendation for approval from the Boone County Commissioners for a Class Z liquor license application that will now advance to the Nebraska Liquor Control Commission.
No one was present at Wednesday’s hearing to object to the application.
The Brugger brothers and their father, Norm, were present to support the application.
The Bruggers explained the process of gaining federal and state approval for their distilling business. They have completed renovations to convert an old milk barn on the farm and installed specialized equipment to create the microdistillery. The liquor they produce must be marketed through a distributor and cannot be sold directly from their facility.
After distilling, the product will be aged for about 1 1/2 years in oak barrels before the production process is complete.
They explained their intent is to diversify their operation beyond crops and cattle, and to produce high quality farm-crafted spirits.
Mash used in distillation would be used as high quality cattle feed.
The facility has already been inspected by the Nebraska State Patrol. It will also be inspected by the State Fire Marshal and the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services.