We’ve been making alcohol since before the start of recorded history. It’s one of our oldest avocations. But have we become too dependent on big manufacturers, on superstores, on well-known brands?

The young people featured in these videos have taken the making of alcoholic beverages into their own hands. They’re not driven by some grand anticorporate campaign. It’s more basic than that. They’re independent spirits making independent spirits.
In Brooklyn, Erica Shea and Stephen Valand, out of economic necessity and a love of the brewing process, built a business making one-gallon home beer-making kits. Chip Tate of Waco’s Balcones Distillery hand-forged his own whiskey stills and is making the tastiest whiskey Texas has ever seen. Also in Texas, Wes Mickel is stirring up trouble with batch after batch of delicious handmade cider. And let’s not forget Whole Foods Market’s own Devon Broglie, one of only 186 Master Sommeliers in the world.
To this new generation carrying on these venerable traditions and crafting delicious new ones, we can only raise our glass and say… Cheers!

Watch The Videos

Argus Cidery

In the Hill Country, Wes Mickel handcrafts hard cider from Texas apples and native yeast. Continue

Balcones Distillery

Chip Tate and friends use homemade stills to craft the best whiskey in Texas and beyond. Continue

Brooklyn Brew Kids

Adorable couple Erica and Stephen brew up at-home beer-making kits, one gallon at a time. Continue

How to Taste Vino Like a Sommelier

A wine-tasting guide from Devon Broglie, one of only 186 Master Sommeliers in the world. Continue

Dark Rye is an online magazine from Whole Foods Market that explores the realms of food, health, sustainability, design, technology and social enterprise. Get fresh insight from our mixtape of stories, recipes, creative projects and people.

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