Thursday, December 31, 2015

MGP, the market for American whiskeys, and thoughts of the year gone by

Suppose you would like to start producing fine bourbon, aged for (at least) several years in charred American white oak. How can you hit the ground running?  MGP.  Those initials used to stand for  Midwest Grain Products, Inc., but the company is now called MGP Ingredients, Inc., and makes industrial quantities of lots of things that start out as plants.

So, if you are a new bourbon producer (or an established brand, non-distilling producer), you can buy bourbon from MGP,  which makes it in vast quantities in Indiana, and, voila, you have your own small batch whiskey ready to go. (According to Wikipedia, "There are generally no clear criteria as to what defines a "small batch.")

(I'm reminded of how Samuel Adams beer, which started off being sold to beer drinkers in Boston who appreciated a local beer, was initially brewed under contract by Iron City in Pittsburgh, where I lived at the time...none of this is mentioned at

I might do some market research tonight, while thinking of the year gone by.

Among economists whose passing I marked this year, John and Alicia Nash (and here and here), Herb Scarf, and Douglass North.

1 comment:

David Curran said...

This is known as the 'Fucking beer problem' after the Austrian town of Fucking that had its name used by a beer used elsewhere. The discussion in the comments at is enlightening about the whole Fucking issue