Retired from pro football, former Philadelphia Eagles safety Malcolm Jenkins is working in a new field: distilling.
Philadelphia’s Millstone Spirits Group announced that Jenkins, 34, is now an investor and has joined its board, with a plan to create what he and the Kensington-based company said would be the first commercial whiskey sourced exclusively from corn, barley, wheat, and rye produced by Black and brown farmers.
His new role in the whiskey business dovetails with his various social missions, including support of better civilian oversight of the police and teaching children how to build wealth.
Jenkins is working with Robert Cassell, owner of New Liberty Distillery, one of Millstone’s brands. Millstone’s portfolio includes Kinsey, ALCO ready-to-drink canned cocktails, Escape Goat seltzer cocktails, and the recently acquired Faber Distilling of Trumbauersville.
In a recent interview , Jenkins said his connection with New Liberty began during his foundation’s annual Blitz, Bow-Ties, and Bourbon fund-raiser. A whiskey aficionado, Jenkins said one of the most popular auction items is joining him on a private tour of a distillery. The tours schooled him on the whiskey-making process.
Jenkins said he wants to help underrepresented farmers by signing letters of interest for their crops, which would give them equity in an industry in which they lack much representation.
Selling grains directly to a distillery would be more profitable than dealing in bulk with an aggregator, Cassell and Jenkins said.
New Liberty typically sources its grains from local farms. But in this early going, it’s been a challenge to find underrepresented people who own farms that produce chemical-free, non-GMO grains, and to line up these farms in time for the fall corn harvest — and the start of the distilling process.
So far, Cassell said, they have found only one “solid partner,” in Virginia. Other farmers are being lined up for next year.
The barrels will be aged two to four years. The label has not been named.
The Malcolm Inc. company portfolio includes Listen-Up Media, a multimedia production company with the mission to showcase and distribute content that creates social awareness; Broad Street Ventures, a $10 million investment vehicle funded entirely by Black and brown investors including fellow NFL players; and Disrupt Foods, a franchise developer that operates quick-service restaurants with an aim to level the economic playing field for Black and Hispanic people; and Damari, a clothing company.