Mother Earth may share a name with an herbal tea-scented hippie news rag, but don't let that unfortunate fact deter you from sampling its damn fine craft brews and spirits. As far as beer goes, Mother Earth's armada is packed with clean, traditional styles, the very definition of approachable. On the liquor side, locally grown grain and deep Southern roots are the backbone for the solar-powered, LEED-certified North Carolina operation's three spirited offerings.
First there was gin -- rounded, botanical-forward, and lusciously spiced. At some point, a molasses-fueled, deceptively easy-drinking silver rum entered the mix, but if I had to choose, I'd nominate ME's aged, blended whiskey for best in show. It begins bourbon-like, all burnt caramel and oak, but ends dry with a lingering, earthy cut. Trust me when I tell you, this ain't no crunchy co-op fodder.