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Consuming the Craft

Mar 5, 2019

CBI008 Life’s Too Short to Drink Bad Brandy with Dan McConnell of McConnell Farms


Dan McConnell is the owner of McConnell Farms, a family-owned farm based in Henderson County, North Carolina. Since its establishment in the 1940s, McConnell Farms has grown and produced a wide variety of crops and livestock. Today, the farm primarily focuses on growing row crops such as strawberries, blackberries, and corn as well as fruit trees. Dan holds a Bachelor’s degree in Horticulture with a special focus on Fruits and Vegetables from North Carolina State University. McConnell Farms is one of our generous donors of fresh-pressed cider that allows our students to learn hands-on how to ferment and develop great tasting brandy and other adult beverages.


Dan joins me for today’s Booze Clues segment and discusses why life’s too short to drink bad brandy. We discuss how consumers can change the flavor profile of various wines and brandies by simply adding a fruit juice ice cube into their beverage. Dan explains what the “variety trials” are at his farm and how they are creating new heirloom fruits for consumers. We also discuss why consumers want smaller apples than in previous years when he expects to see high-yield harvests from his fruit trees and the real reason why Johnny Appleseed started planting apple trees.



This week on Consuming the Craft:


  • Changing the flavor profile of adult beverages with fruit juice ice cubes.
  • Tasting “a winner” of the peach variety trials at McConnell Farms.
  • Distilled spirits with figs.
  • CBI’s experiment with concentrating ginger.
  • Marrying apricots and peaches - and other fruits - to create heirloom fruits.
  • Why consumers want smaller fruits.
  • When to expect high yields from fruit tree crops.



Connect with Dan McConnell:





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