When you drink a cocktail, chances are you’re not thinking about its sustainability. But for everything from vodka to bourbon, distilleries across the country are integrating environmentally-friendly methods into their business practices. And trust us, the greener your liquor, the better it tastes.
1. Tuthilltown Spirits Distillery (Gardiner, NY)
Tuthilltown Spirits, located just north of New York City, is a handmade, microdistillery that focuses on sustainable and quality whiskey. Reducing their carbon footprint extends across their distillery location. 90% of its raw materials come from within 10 miles, they send waste mash to local cattle farmers for feed, and their 53 large solar panels cover most of the distillery’s electricity usage, as well as the tasting room and a bit of their restaurant. Tuthilltown also has electric car charging stations for visitors with hybrid vehicles.
2. Greenbar Distillery (Los Angeles, CA)
Greenbar’s approach to sustainability is to “leave the environment in better shape than we found it.” This takes many forms, including working with Sustainable Harvest International to plant a tree with each bottle sold, using certified organic products, and reducing their overall waste, packaging, and C02 emissions.
3. McCormick Distilling Company (Weston, MO)
McCormick Distilling is the oldest distillery west of the Mississippi River still operating in its original location, dating back to 1856. But its sustainability practices are anything but dated. McCormick recycles 170 tons of material annually from day-to-day operations, reduced overall paper consumption, and has been purchasing renewable energy certiﬁcates since 2007. They also worked the Missouri Department of Conservation to launch the FOREST 360 campaign, an eﬀort to plant indigenous trees on 40 acres of the land around the distillery.
4. Striped Pig Distillery (Charleston, SC)
The Striped Pig is South Carolina’s first micro-distillery, and sustainability has been a priority from the beginning, starting with working with local farmers for materials, as well as giving back to the farmers in the form of mash for feeding their livestock. As an additional means of saving energy, the distillery itself is open air and doesn’t use heat or air conditioning, and utilizes natural lighting from windows and skylights.
5. Square One Organic Spirits (Novato, CA)
Square One was founded with the goal of becoming the go-to luxury brand for consumers looking to live a greener lifestyle. This begins with their creating its spirits via a certified organic fermentation process. Additionally, Square One purchases carbon offset passes for their business travel and their distillery partner receives 25% of its electrical power from wind-generated power. As a newer business, their future sustainability ambitions include co-marketing partnerships with other green businesses and associations and partial profit donations to environmental causes.
6. OCEAN Organic Vodka (Kula, HI)
Touring the distillery at OCEAN is just as much about the facilities as the land it’s built on. Tours start outside beside stalks of sugarcane, then swing into the solar-powered production facility, ensuring a discussion of deep ocean water, which is their vodka’s marquee ingredient. This family-run business strives to use the most earth-friendly raw materials and eco-friendly production methods, including optimizing natural lighting in their facilities, recycling all shipping materials, and utilizing all-natural cleaning products and post-consumer office supplies.
7. Big Spring Spirits (Bellefonte, PA)
Opened in 2014, by 2015 Big Spring already been awarded LEED® certification, becoming the first distillery in the state of Pennsylvania, second in the country and just the third in the world to receive this prestigious recognition. A great deal of efforts went into becoming LEED®-certified, including employing sustainable landscaping methods, reducing potable water usage by 36%, installing LED lighting, and diverting 94.7% of construction waste from landfills.