Little Bitty Bourbon

Mini-distilleries sweeping the country are remaking the recipe for America's native spirit

Jamie Chung

Paul Tomaszewski pulls into the local granary every month to pick up 50-lb. bags of white corn, which he then hauls 6 miles down the road, past a scrawled sign touting turnip greens and a printed one welcoming visitors to the town of Pembroke, Ky. (pop. 869). He is heading home to a former Amish dairy farm that is now MB Roland Distillery, where he and his wife are starting out in the bourbon business. "We jumped in with both feet," says Merry Beth, her Southern accent coating the words. "Everything is mortgaged to the hilt."

The Tomaszewskis have company. Seven...

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