GREAT LAKES WATER
Shankar Distillers resides in Troy, Michigan, surrounded by the Great Lakes, the largest fresh water source in the world.
The Great Lakes, which touch eight states in all, are known for their beauty and the wealth of resources within and around them. The combined lakes contain the largest supply of fresh water on earth; 20% of the earth’s total fresh water, with more than 3,000 miles of shoreline, the Great Lakes not only form Michigan’s mitten-shaped geography, but also shape its economy, society, and environment.
The Lakes provide a water supply to more than 40 million people. And Lake Superior is the largest fresh-water lake in the world by surface area and contains half the total water in the combined Great Lakes.
Many large companies understand the benefits of such large volumes of fresh water and the ability to create quality, water-based products. Besides many distilleries and wineries in Michigan, Nestle taps wells in Michigan for its Ice Mountain brand of spring water.
The Great Lakes, of course, has been home to a thriving commercial shipping industry since the 19th century, and there are an estimated 10,000+ wrecks in the lakes, some in deep water where they fell to rest and some in water shallow enough to go wreck diving. Those tragedies and human stories have made the lakes a subject for song writers for many decades. Gordon Lightfoot’s hit “The Wreck of The Edmund Fitzgerald” is but one.
The Great Lakes Basin is a 295,200-square-mile area within which all surface area drains into the Great Lakes.
It includes parts of Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Ontario and Quebec. All together, the Great Lakes contain the 9,402 miles of shoreline and 94,710 total square miles of surface area.
So precious is the Great Lakes deemed that they are protected from being tapped to supply water to other states by federal legislation. When western states in the U.S. are in drought conditions, there is often a refrain to build a pipeline from the Great Lakes to the affected areas. But it won’t happen as the Great Lakes ecosystem is guarded by federal law.
An easy way to remember the Great Lakes names, remember the word “HOMES”:
H = Huron; O = Ontario; M = Michigan; E = Erie; S = Superior.
How important is water to distilling? Water is used for malting, mashing and diluting the spirit before bottling (except for cask strength releases). Thus, the purity and source of water in making spirits at Shankar Distillery is crucial because the water literally ends up in the bottle and in our glasses. And the character of the water in Michigan is one of the things that distinguishes Varchas Whiskey from its competitors in Kentucky and elsewhere.
Shankar Distillers LLC
1030 Chicago Rd
Troy, MI. 48083
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