Supporting sustainable distilling in the heart of Yorkshire

Ellers Farm Distillery is a producer of high-quality spirits made from British apples, balanced with a touch of potato spirit. The company is based within walking distance from Stamford Bridge in North Yorkshire. Putting them on the map of distillers is a newly built state-of-the-art distillery and visitor centre.

The company is committed to achieving Net Zero by 2040 by taking on sustainable developments that will reduce their scope 1, 2 and 3 emissions. The sustainable and safe source of water for the distillery comes from a 260-metre deep borehole. The built-in closed-loop cooling system controls the temperature of the fermenters and cools the ethanol vapours in the condensers, saving energy. Ellers Farm Distillery have also partnered with Ecologi and to date have planted 3,000 trees as part of Ecologi’s efforts to reforest the planet.

Their sustainable circular economy ethos brought them to the Biorenewables Development Centre (BDC) where both teams worked on projects through the BDC’s pre-funded support for Yorkshire SMEs.

The BDC team helped Ellers Farm Distillery to understand routes to reuse and recycle biowaste generated by the distillery. The sustainable technologies presented to Ellers Farm Distillery such as anaerobic digestion or biotransformation could offer an opportunity to add value to the waste.

Chris Hunt, Technologist at the BDC who conducted the review commented:

“At the BDC we recognise a hidden value of biowastes. Our review showed that Ellers Farm Distillery process waste could find use in various applications from generating bioenergy, to producing high-value secondary by-products to be used as food or animal feed. Our report presented different options that the company can consider for valorising their waste and incorporating those strategies into their business model”

The BDC team also provided hands-on advice on Ellers Farm Distillery’s product stability, which was evidenced by an analysis of distillate congeners conducted at the BDC’s analytical facilities. The findings suggested that the type of packaging affects the key flavour and aroma compounds in the spirit samples and should be considered to preserve product quality. The results supported Ellers Farm Distillery’s decision to package their newly launched Dutch Barn Orchard Vodka in distinctive brown colour glass bottles to protect the delicate nature of the spirit.

Tabatha Hurst, Head of Sustainability at Ellers Farm Distillery commented:

“We know that great things can come when businesses look to science to solve some of their biggest challenges. The work carried out by the BDC helped us to achieve our two main goals – making the highest quality spirits in the most sustainable way. Not only does our brown bottle protect the delicate flavour of our vodka, but it also incorporates more recycled content than clear glass could. We will certainly continue to work with the BDC as we strive to create a more circular business model.”

 

Notes to editors:

This project has received funding from the England European Regional Development Fund as part of the European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme 2014-2020

The York, North Yorkshire and East Riding (YNYER) LEP awarded a grant of £1M to the BDC as part of the Local Growth Fund (LGF) support which funded the equipment used to carry out this project. For more information visit: https://www.businessinspiredgrowth.com/funding/local-growth-fund/

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