Along with an uptick in consumer awareness regarding the harmful environmental impacts of dairy farming, plant-based alternatives have been soaring in popularity. Consumers can now easily find an abundance of plant-based substitutes for milk, cheese, and butter on grocery store shelves, and to demonstrate their commitment to farmers and sustainable farming practices, Country Crock has teamed up with J. Rieger & Co. distillery in Kansas City to release Cover Crop, a limited edition rye whiskey.
For the uninitiated, the whiskey is named after the sustainable farming use of crops called cover crops — crops grown overtop or in-between plants for harvest in order to protect and enrich the earth. Cereal rye is a common crop used as a cover crop, and the rye used in the distillation process for Cover Crop is the same cereal rye used on farms in Kansas, where it’s common for farmers to experience soil fatigue. This phenomenon occurs when the minerals in the ground are depleted and unable to sustain the growth of plant life, and cover crops can ultimately go a long way towards improving soil health by replenishing nutrients.
The brand stated in an announcement that they “recognized an opportunity to help educate farmers and the public on a sustainable solution: cover crops, like cereal rye,” which “has been proven to be a sustainable way to keep the land healthy and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by returning carbon to the soil as a nutrient.”
Not much has been said in terms of flavor regarding the whiskey other than “buttery smooth.” During the bottling process, only 500 bottles of Country Crock Cover Crop Whiskey were produced, all of which are being sold exclusively by Marsh & Grape.