DBF in the Media: Communication Arts

Doc Brown Farm & Distillers on the Communication Arts website

Here at Doc Brown we feel honored and humbled to see our brand featured in the Exhibit section of the Communication Arts website.

For decades, Communication Arts – first as a magazine and now also as a website – has been the leading authority in design and advertising in America, and they decided our branding and packaging were beautiful enough to appear on their site. A huge thank-you goes out to managing editor Michael Coyne for interviewing Tom Lane of Ginger Monkey Design, who has helped us develop the Doc Brown brand since day one. We are so, so happy with his creative work, and just as pleased that others agree!

Below you can read the full story, as it originally appeared on CommArts.com.

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Doc Brown Farm & Distillers identity & packaging

Ginger Monkey Design celebrates this distillery’s tradition, faith and women leadership through a comprehensive identity and packaging system.

Responses by Tom Lane, creative director, Ginger Monkey Design.

Background: Doc Brown Farm & Distillers is a startup based in Georgia making bourbon from heirloom Jimmy Red corn, which it farms, mills, ferments and distills. It’s a family business set up by Amy Brown, Paige Dockweiller and Daniel Williams in 2019. In 2020, the three approached us to help them create a visual identity and packaging system that reflects its unique way of doing things.

Design thinking: We spent a lot of time talking to Amy and researching everything important to the Doc Brown business, discussing how it would be positioned in the market. Strong family values, responsible agriculture, deep roots in Georgia, the founders’ faith, their use of a traditional variety of corn that has nearly died out—all these things set them apart.

We settled on the word heirloom as an organizing thought. The visual expressions and copy all stem from this. Doc Brown draws upon its past to create something for the future.

Challenges: We created the brand typography and imagery and started work on the packaging long before the bourbon itself would be ready. This meant there was a lot of time to consider and question every creative decision. We hoped to use bespoke bottle designs, but costs spiraled during the COVID-19 pandemic. While waiting for the signature bourbons Effie Jewel and Uncle Bogue to reach their peak, we helped Doc Brown launch four flavored bourbon cream liqueurs, giving them a revenue stream and warming consumers up for the main product lines.

Favorite details: The hand-drawn script on the labels is something I put a lot of time into, honing and crafting it a bit like how Doc Brown makes its bourbon. I wanted the lettering to be flowing, evocative and full of personality, as though these could be signatures. It’s playful, reflecting the values of the brand. I hope it sits well on the bourbon shelf but also steps away from some of the tropes ubiquitous in that market.

New lessons: We’ve been very lucky with this project. Amy, Daniel and Paige have shared a lot of information with us about how the business has progressed. We’ve learned a huge amount about how bourbon is made; what demands and challenges new distilleries face; and what retailers, distributors and regulators expect from a product and its packaging. Amy has included us in the product development process because Doc Brown takes its brand integrity seriously. Together, we’re shaping ideas for future products and how to market them.

Visual influences: Sometimes the simplest things are the most inspiring. Images Amy sent us of the sun rising over a cornfield chimed with the radiance pattern in the background on an old silver dollar that has become a Doc Brown family heirloom. This conjured images of Lady Liberty and what she represents—equality, freedom, tolerance and opportunity. She appears in the brand’s pictorial mark surrounded by farm items, in high heels. Two of Doc Brown’s founders are women, and “high heels and cornfields” is part of the company ethos—honoring and celebrating women in the bourbon industry. All these different images and ideas are connected.

gingermonkeydesign.com
alexmachin.com

DBF in the Media: Winters Media online

Doc Brown Farm & Distillers featured on the Winters Media website

Today we’re a-whoopin’ and a-hollerin’ with joy thanks to the fine folks at Winters Media, publishers of the The Paper and The Weekly, two local journals right here in Coweta County, Georgia. Last week, they featured Doc Brown Farm & Distillers in the News section of their site, with an article all about how we founded the distillery and the faith, family and fortitude principles that guide us.

A special thank-you to Katie Anderson who wrote the piece, which catches our vibe perfectly in a Georgia pecan shell. (Watch this space for more about nut-inspired spirits!) We’ve included the article below, as it appears on the Winters Media website.

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Faith, Family and Fortitude: Senoia’s Doc Brown Farm and Distillers

February 28, 2024

By KATIE ANDERSON, Out and About

It all started with a magazine on a beach.

Amy Brown, Paige Dockweiler, and Amy’s son Daniel Williams had just bought their Senoia farm. They were sitting on a beach at 30A, reading a Garden and Gun article about an heirloom grain, Jimmy Red Corn.

They decided to give growing the corn a try. Initially, they distilled two barrels of bourbon to share with family and friends. It was so good that they started Doc Brown Farm and Distillers in 2019. Fast forward to October 1, 2023, and their first bourbons were released: Effie Jewel and Uncle Bogue (now sold out.) They also created four flavors of bourbon creams: Butter Pecan, Salted Caramel, Coffee, and Peppermint Mocha. 

The founders all come from farming families. Brown has a background in banking and now manages the farm full-time. Dockweiler and Williams have other jobs in healthcare and aviation respectively, but cherish their time spent playing in the dirt.

The farm operates from three foundation blocks – faith, family, and fortitude. Their love of family transferred to their labels, as well. Uncle Bogue was a great, great uncle, and Effie Jewel was a great aunt. Both stood out as examples of their family’s fortitude and tenacity. Effie Jewel Bourbon is dedicated to all women in the distilling industry. “Our desire and hope is that Effie Jewel inspires women to act on their dreams and find courage to sit at tables that maybe have been off limits in the past.

“I will say that we’ve had nothing but kindness and support from men and women alike and even though we are small and just a dot on the map of the bourbon world, we are thankful for those who have helped us get this far,” said Brown.

Their land has proven to be a good match with Jimmy Red Corn. It is non-gmo, produced without chemicals of any kind. This special variety of corn is making a comeback after almost becoming extinct, and is known for its sweet, rich, buttery flavor. 

To control pests, the Doc Brown team built houses to attract bats, which help fight the ear worm and other damaging insects. They’ve also brought in bees, which made a difference in their yield and ear size. The farmers use old style methods like cover crops and rotation to take care of their soil. 

This approach has brought them full circle with Garden and Gunmagazine, by winning a 2023 Garden and Gun Made in the South Award for their Butter Pecan Bourbon Cream.

“We have subscribed to Garden and Gun now for years and the inspiration for growing the Jimmy Red Corn came from an article published in G&G, so our goal was to ‘make it into G&G’ one day.

“When it was time to enter the ‘Best of the South’ we had the amazing support of Heather Daniel, who recommended us so off we go submitting the 1st round of paperwork … a nd then we waited…and waited…then another email came in that stated we ‘made it into Best of the South’ but we had to keep our mouths closed – that was the longest month of my life sitting on a dream that had come true,” Brown stated.

“We are so grateful for everyone’s support and kindness. Our goal is always to produce products that everyone can enjoy knowing that good old fashioned farming techniques were used and that it’s made with a lot of love for this golden land we all share,” said Brown. 

To purchase the award-winning, local bourbon, visit their website at docbrownfarm.com to order, or to find locations where their products are sold.

DBF in the Media: Read all about our Bold Journey

Amy Brown featured on the Bold Journey website

We say, “Thank you!” to all the folks at the storytelling site Bold Journey, who have featured Amy Brown, co-founder of Doc Brown Farm & Distillers, and story of how we got started. Bold Journey is a website that often shares the perspectives of women who are strong in life and in business. Because part of our mission is to celebrate female leaders in the distilling industry, this was a welcome opportunity for us to show others that launching a bourbon brand according to your own values is totally achievable.

Y’all can read the article below, as it originally appeared on Bold Journey. Let us know what you think.

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Meet Amy Brown

February 27, 2024

We caught up with the brilliant and insightful Amy Brown a few weeks ago and have shared our conversation below.

Alright, so we’re so thrilled to have Amy with us today – welcome and maybe we can jump right into it with a question about one of your qualities that we most admire. How did you develop your work ethic? Where do you think you get it from?
Early 1972 my Dad came home from his ‘day job’ as the Maytag Man for Sears and Roebuck and informed the family that we are becoming ‘Red Wiggler Worm Farmers’. Now, this was nothing new for my parents to have their full-time careers AND what I call ‘side hustles’.

Each and every day, after school, my siblings and I had to attend to the worm beds that were scattered all over the micro farm we grew up on. Oh we ‘hated it’ and thought our parents were making us work too hard…. but looking back in life’s rearview mirror I can see now my parents were, and still are in their mid 80’s, the wisest people I know.

You see, creating side hustles that the entire family can be involved in taught us so much that transfers into entrepreneurship and building a company from the ‘dirt up’. We learned responsibility is part of life and that being a dependable employee is often more valuable than being the smartest but lacking work ethic. We learned how to work together as a team and delegate certain aspects of the chores so that the work got completed faster thus giving us more play time. We learned that a higher education comes with a price tag. We learned that a good night’s sleep is the reward for a hard day’s work.

So, for this question, ‘where did I get my work ethic from’? The answer is unequivocally is my wonderful and wise parents, Rennis and Janice Brown.

Let’s take a small detour – maybe you can share a bit about yourself before we dive back into some of the other questions we had for you?
Doc Brown Farm & Distillers is a family owned, family run business based in Senoia GA. Currently, we are Georgia’s ONLY Seed to Still farm and only a handful of such across this golden land we share. From planting the seed to bottling the end product, we do it all and take great joy in using old fashioned farming techniques. We grow Non- GMO Jimmy Red Corn and Non- GMO Abruzzi Rye that we distill into some of the best Bourbon and Bourbon Creams on the market. Our farm is at the heart of everything we do and we take great pride in growing grains that produce America’s only native spirit. Bourbon!!

Our Bourbon creams have won several awards including Best of the South for the prestigious magazine, Garden and Gun.

Soon we will release a new line of Whiskey’s called the Day Swigger. A quick easy sip of some fine whiskey grown on the farm we love.

There is so much advice out there about all the different skills and qualities folks need to develop in order to succeed in today’s highly competitive environment and often it can feel overwhelming. So, if we had to break it down to just the three that matter most, which three skills or qualities would you focus on?
Specifically speaking about the bourbon farm journey, I would say its a combination of a few things. Work Ethic as discussed earlier. Entrepreneurial DNA running thru my blood. And 32 years in the corporate world of banking where critical and strategic thinking was a must and used daily. So, when you combine an Indefatigable work ethic with strategic thinking sprinkled with a risk taking entrepreneurial spirit it makes for a fun and exciting journey.

I’m not big on giving advice as each person’s journey is different, but I would say to make sure you know your craft better than anyone on the market and put the time in that it takes to build a company from the ground up. Most folks have a distorted vision that owning your own company is a walk in the park and as we all know, this is not the case. Secondly, get connected with folks who are smarter, richer and more successful than you are and glean from then every ounce of knowledge you can. Those connections are vital to growth for any company wishing to succeed.

Awesome, really appreciate you opening up with us today and before we close maybe you can share a book recommendation with us. Has there been a book that’s been impactful in your growth and development?
In 1816 my 4th Great Grandparents left Ireland for the ‘promised land’ called the United States of America. They came with the clothes they could pack in their trunks and a bible.

Generation after generation, our faith in God has been handed down and the Bible is the one book I turn to every single morning to gain wisdom and direction for my day.

Of course from the Bible stems the golden rule – treating others as you would want to be treated. If each of us would embrace this one nugget from that wisdom filled book this world would be a much better place. So, on this farm, we believe that this is God’s earth and that it’s our duty to take care of it. We also believe we are here to follow Christ’s example and let love and kindness guide our steps.

DBF in the Media: The Newnan Times-Herald

Screenshot of Newnan Times-Herald from 30 Nov 2023, Doc Brown Farm

Stop the press, y’all! We’re proud to say that on November 30th 2023, Doc Brown Farm & Distillers received extensive coverage in The Newnan Times-Herald right here in Georgia. We’re blown away by their thorough, in-depth article.

In her feature, Shannon Poteet provides a full overview of how we got started, our cherished beliefs and what we’re doing down here on the farm with our Jimmy Red Corn.

As the piece points out, it started as a happy accident and now we’re a Georgia business on a mission. One day Daniel said, “Mom, why don’t you grow corn on y’all’s farm? We can distill it and make some family bourbon?” So we took the plunge.

Our sustainable, traditional approach to farming; seed-to-still distilling; our roots on the land; our High Heels and Cornfields motto. Shannon has captured it all in wonderfully concise prose and she’s also mentioned our recent awards.

You can read the full article by clicking here.

Huge gratitude to Shannon and the editorial team down Highway 16 at The Times-Herald. It’s an honor to appear in this esteemed and long-running publication, which is also our local newspaper.

DBF in the media: The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Image of Atlanta Journal-Constitution Dining page featuring Doc Brown Farm & Distillers

A big thank-you goes out to Angela Hansberger and the editorial team at The Atlanta Journal-Constitution for the feature article they published about Doc Brown Farm & Distillers on Sunday, January 8, 2023. It’s exciting and rewarding to see our names in print, and in the largest newspaper in the state on top of that.

Below you can read the article which provides an illuminating summary of what we’re doing here on the farm. (There’s just one update you need to be aware of – we are now working with a different distillery partner and not R.M. Rose.)

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Meet the bourbon farmers of Doc Brown’s

Georgia partners grow heirloom red corn that is turned into whiskey.

Amy Brown calls herself a bourbon farmer. For that to make sense, you only need to learn how Doc Brown’s Farm & Distillers came to produce a line of bourbon creams that local liquor stores can’t seem to keep on their shelves.

Born and raised in Buford, Brown bought a farm in Senoia in 2018 with her partner in life and business, Paige Dockweiler – the “Doc” in the company name. While Dockweiler grew up on a farm in Cordele that grew corn and soybeans, she, like Brown, never thought farming was her future. Both had been in the professional world for 30 years – Brown in banking, and Dockweiler in oncology nursing and hematology.

During a beach trip, Brown’s son, Daniel Williams, who is her other business partner, passed around an about Jimmy Red corn and Charleston’s High Wire Distilling. They all agreed it would be a fine idea to grow the rare heirloom corn, helping preserve not just the heritage of the Native Americans who first farmed it, but also of the bootleggers who made moonshine from the deep-red kernels.

Brown got in touch with Andy Sudderth, master distiller and CEO of R.M. Rose Distillery in Dillard. After a year of growing and milling, Doc Brown’s delivered heirloom gorn to Dudderth to distill. His response: “I think you’re onto something – how much can you grow?”

After extensive research, Brown discovered that there are not many people who grow corn, distill it and bottle whiskey. “Hardly any do it all in the same state,” she said. A business plan was born.

“And, here we are, going into our fourth year making whiskey, and having an absolute blast,” Brown said.

There are 13 barrels of Jimmy Red bourbon aging for release after May 2023, the four-year mark. New oak barrells are sourced from Gainesville Cooperage, the only cooperage in Georgia. While Doc Brown’s bourbon is aging, the company also makes bourbon creams. Each flavor – butter pecan, coffee and peppermint mocha – is made with bourbon that has been aged for two years.

Brown and Dockweiler grow the non-genetically modified organism corn on their 20-acre farm, as well as 100 acres they lease, using only organic methods. There are numerous bat houses around the property, both for pollination and fighting corn earworms. They also brought in beehives, and a beekeeper to manage them.

“Even though corn is wind-pollinated, we brought in bees to help with it,” Brown said. After doing that, their second crop yield increased by 30%, both in the size of the ears and the number of kernels. In addition to buying bees, they also planted pollinator shrubs to attract the bees and bats.

Once the corn matures from yellow to deep red, it is harvested and ground to a consistency somewhere between cornmeal and grits, to carry the rich, sweet flavor to the whiskey.

The corn is trucked to Dillard, to be distilled in a hand-made copper still. R.M. Rose Distitillery has “good water,” Brown said, adding that Sudderth “dug a deep well,” and the limestone-filtered water is from the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, and doesn’t need any treatment.

“That matters,” she said. “It’s the secret ingredient in Kentucky bourbon, the same limestone ridge.”

But, without good grains, Brown said, “you are not going to get quality bourbon.” Their bourbon’s mash bill is a secret, but it has a high mix of corn, as well as locally grown rye.

Their butter pecan bourbon cream, made with pecans grown by a local farmer, pays homage to Dockweiler’s family, who also grew the nuts, a Georgia favorite.

While you wait on Doc Brown’s straight bourbon, the three varieties of bourbon cream (39-proof, 750-millileter bottles for $34.99) are available at retailers in Georgia. Find out more at docbrownfarm.com.