Mike Fruge, Founder of JT Meleck Distellers said, "This business is about our family, it's about an authentic Louisiana family that's into its fifth generation. My great, great uncle John, JT Meleck settled here in the late 1870's and they began farming rice, and that tradition traveled all the way through to my brother and I who farm rice and crawfish, and it's going to go to the next generation."
10 years ago an idea turned into a family business.
JT Meleck distillery produces vodka and authentic original American style whiskey made out of 100 percent rice.
The company is located in Branch, Louisiana.
Mike Fruge, Founder of JT Meleck Distellers said, "In South Louisiana or Louisiana in general we have what I call a camp culture, and we want to invite you to take our bottle with you to your camp and give us a try, and go ahead put it in your favorite beverage, and enjoy your weekend and bring us along."
To produce rice whiskey, first a beer is made with the rice and then it is distilled. It takes four years to produce a finished whiskey.
Ed Guidry, Operations Manager for The Fruge Businesses said, "Everyday it's a little different, today we worked on the steel, tomorrow you work on the mash tun, the next day you work on an air compressor, it's an adventure you don't know what you're coming into every day."
Owners say their products are sold at all of the major retailers in Louisiana and are branching out to be sold in other states as well.