Coppersea Distilling buys land on Springtown Road in New Paltz to boost local grain

Chris Williams looks down with a proud smile at the rye grains spread on the floor in a rough rectangle. The pile of seeds displays telltale furrows from careful raking. His boss Angus MacDonald reaches down to examine them, noting tiny sprouts protruding from each grain.

“I think we’re currently one of a dozen distilleries in the world that ‘floor malts’ in house,” Williams explains.

Big malt houses use a similar process -- wetting the grain, allowing it to germinate and free up the enzymes that convert starch to sugar -- but they do it in larger quantities than does West . . .

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