A Little Bit of Bushmills

At start up in late 2005, the Bushmills Ethanol biorefinery of Atwater, Minnesota was designed with an annual production capacity of 40 million gallons of fuel ethanol. Efficiency improvements over the years since allow Bushmills to now convert about 25 million bushels of field corn into 65 million gallons of ethanol every year‒in addition to more than 164,000 tons of high-value livestock feed.

Bushmills is currently undergoing an expansion that will ultimately allow the company and its 400 farmer-owners to produce 100 million gallons, which represents an impressive 50% increase to the plant’s annual capacity.

If you drive across west-central Minnesota along U.S. Highway 12 and stop to fuel up with E15 or one of the flex fuels, such as E85 or E30, you’ll likely be purchasing gallons made with Bushmills’ locally-grown, renewable-based ethanol. That's because Bushmills is one of several Minnesota ethanol plants offering direct fuel supply to retail station partners.

Bushmills provides retailers with the pre-blended E85 that is either sold as standalone E85 to flex-fuel vehicle drivers or blended onsite via station equipment into other gasoline alternatives, such as E15 or E30. So whether you’re choosing the dispenser button for E15 or E30 or E85 at a station in west-central Minnesota, you’re always getting a little bit of Bushmills from Atwater, Minnesota.

What About That Name?

Q: How did a Minnesota ethanol plant come to share a name with a famous Irish whiskey?

A: The late Andy Quinn was a driving force in getting the Atwater ethanol plant built, and he also served as the company's first chairman. Andy was proud of his Irish heritage and had toured the world-famous Old Bushmills Distillery of Northern Ireland. It was he who suggested the Bushmills name for the ethanol plant, and it stuck.

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