Our latest guest on the podcast is Matt Hoffman, Co-Founder and Master Distiller of Westland Distillery, the makers of an award-winning line of American Single Malt Whiskey. Matt is deeply passionate and knowledgeable and it’s no surprise he was awarded in 2015 Whiskey of the Year by the American Distilling Institute, and in 2018, Whisky Magazine named him Master Distiller/Blender of the Year.
Matt teaches us that there are only four ingredients needed to produce whiskey, and yet there are endless possibilities that can be expressed. Some put an emphasis on the water while others focus on the wood with their own specific maturation philosophy, yet few really focus on the quality of whiskey’s key ingredient: barley.
The majority of whiskey today is produced with commodity barley, but our next guest Matt Hofmann is looking to change this ecosystem by focusing on regionally-grown and shortening the distance between distiller and farmer.
Matt takes us on a journey through the Pacific Northwest and shares why this region is so important and how it reflects in his products. He also talks about the need for reconnecting the industry to agriculture, and Westland’s commitment to local farmers through barley sustainability initiatives such as The Bread Lab, in partnership with Washington State University.
Listen to this episode and get inspired by a passionate entrepreneur paving his own path in the whiskey space.