NCET helps you explore business and technology
By Dave Archer
It’s the season of merriment, joy, and often enjoying a cocktail with friends or family. However, did you ever consider how that spirit transformed from a pile of grains to liquid ambrosia? If you’re drinking a glass from Seven Troughs Distilling Company, then that libation took a uniquely Nevada journey.
The company’s name honors its deep Nevada roots and commitment to bringing the traditions and techniques of the past into the present. Instead of fighting our region’s dry and temperature-swinging climate, which would typically be inhospitable to spirit making, Seven Troughs uses a mid-19th-century fermentation and distillation process to transform harshness into complexity.
“We designed our whiskey and aging process to replicate how old-timers were doing work and to take full advantage of Nevada’s harsh climate,” said Tom Adams, owner of Seven Troughs.
To do that, Seven Troughs uses a broad-spectrum fermentation process for each of its spirits.
“We let all the flora and fauna wild ferment our mashes,” Adams said.
This process was state of the art in the 1850s.
“I will argue with anyone that modern and new techniques and new technology don’t always mean better,” Adams said. “The modern whiskey distillery uses a genetically selected strain of yeast and doesn’t let other bacteria or yeast get in there to compete. So, they’re making just pure ethanol and getting a very predictable recognizable flavor profile.”
So, you won’t taste a homogenized, commercialized, moonshine, rum, vodka, gin, whiskey or bourbon coming from a Seven Troughs bottle. Instead, you can savor the flavors of Nevada.
“By going backward in time and letting the native yeast do our work for us, we get a flavor profile that is wildly different,” Adams said. “It’s heavy on stone fruit, and it’s heavy on custard flavors. The whiskey that you’re going to taste here is something that many people will not experience ever.”
Time and slow maturation are essential to Seven Troughs’ spirits, and also to its business model. When the distillery opened in a 2,200-square-foot space in 2013, it was the first in the great basin since 1977. Now, the main distillery has expanded to 5,000 square feet, and the Seven Troughs Speakeasy recently opened in The Basement in downtown Reno. Through the growth, Adams has focused on the long game of building a generational business.
“The business has to mature and age with the whiskey,” Adams said.
Taste, smell and see how Seven Troughs Distilling creates artisanal spirits using a mid-19th-century fermentation and distillation process during NCET’s Tech Wednesday from 5:30-7:30 p.m. Wednesday, December 12. The event is only open to people older than 21 and attendance will be capped at 50. So, reserve your spot today. For more information and to purchase registration, visit NCETwed.org.
Dave Archer is president/CEO of NCET, a member-supported nonprofit which produces educational and networking events to help people explore business and technology.