Ferndale, MI – Distilling. It’s a process. A process that is energy intensive, creates waste, and utilizes gallons upon gallons of water throughout the manufacturing production. Valentine Distilling Co. is one of the largest craft distilleries in the U.S. today. And since they were a pioneer in the distilling industry, it’s only appropriate that they take on the mission to have a positive impact on the environmental and resource changes happening in our world today. Valentine Distilling Co. has committed to a 10-year climate sustainability initiative that is rolling out already in 2019.
It is estimated that craft distilleries, on average, use at least 500 gallons of water per day. Times that number by the 1,800 craft distilleries in the U.S., that is nearly 1 million gallons of water per day being utilized, and the majority is process water that is being wasted.
“We have a goal to be a part of the solution, not a contributor to the problem,” states Rifino Valentine, Founder & President of Valentine Distilling Co. “We created this initiative because it’s the right thing to do. We want to inspire other businesses to join in this very important movement. This is an investment, not a cost-savings or tax-break for us. We are hopeful that in the near future that we will receive some government leadership in the area of climate sustainability to help us go even further.”
You may have heard of farm to table, but have you heard of farm to bottle to farm? This is exactly how Valentine Distilling Co. recycles the grains they use, from their all-grain distillery, in their distillation process. First, they purchase the grains from Midwestern farmers. Then, they process the grains during production. While the grain goes through the distillation process, the starches are removed leaving them protein rich when the process is complete. After production, the grains are then returned back to the farmers for cattle feed.
Valentine Distilling Co. is proud to call Michigan, the Great Lakes state, its home. And because it is the Great Lakes state, water is near and dear to Valentine. As part of this initiative, a newly purchased piece of equipment will recapture 95-98% of water lost during the distillation process by the distillery, which is equivalent to approximately 2,000 gallons of water per day for the distillery’s size. With much of Valentine’s water source coming from the Great Lakes, it is crucial to be respectful of its usage in order to preserve this natural resource.
Throughout the manufacturing of spirits, heating and cooling elements are used on a regular basis as separate systems. Valentine is coming up with ways to integrate these systems through heat transfer solutions.
Another inspiration towards implementing a long-term sustainability initiative came from Valentine’s cocktail lounge neighbor, MBrew. MBrew plants a palm tree every summer in their front yard and then relocates it during the Michigan winter. This past winter, in an effort to maximize their carbon offset, they placed the palm tree in their production facility. The facility has 45-foot tall ceilings with natural light coming in creating a livable and successful environment for the tree. Palm trees are one way to absorb the 30-40 pounds per year of carbon dioxide that is created during the distillation process.
“The palm tree is symbolic of our efforts and serves as an everyday reminder to what is important in Valentine’s role towards climate sustainability,” said Valentine. “Taking respectable steps towards preservation of our natural resources, will ensure a better, more sustainable tomorrow for future generations, and that is part of our responsibility.”
The little things make an impact too, such as recycling cardboard and glass, using paper straws in the cocktail lounge, and only serving them when customers ask for one.
Throughout this initiative, Valentine will work to implement wind and solar-powered solutions to help power the production facility, with the eventual goal of becoming carbon neutral. Currently, they are installing energy-efficient lighting and boiler controls.
Valentine’s 10-Year Climate Sustainability Initiative projects 4.75 million gallons of water saved over the 10-year period. Valentine plans to invest approximately $500,000 in this initiative over 10 years. However, the 10-Year Climate Sustainability Initiative is focused on investing in climate sustainability, not the cost. This is an initiative to save the precious resources available to our world today.
About Valentine Distilling Co.
Established in 2007, Valentine Distilling Co. is an American pioneer of small batch spirits. Valentine Vodka has been named “World’s Best” by The World Vodka Awards in London back-to-back in 2016 and 2017. Also, in 2017, Valentine Distilling Co.’s 10-year Mayor Pingree Blue and Black label bourbons received the most prestigious medal awarded, the Double Gold, at the San Francisco World Spirits Competition. In the tradition of Detroit’s manufacturing leadership, Valentine Distilling Co. is dedicated to American ingenuity, quality manufacturing, and small batch distilling using old-world techniques that create superior products. The company’s award-winning vodka, gin, and bourbon are available in nine states, Ontario, and Quebec.
Valentine Distilling Co. Production | 965 Wanda Street – Ferndale, MI 48220
Valentine Distilling Co. Cocktail Lounge | 161 Vester Street – Ferndale, MI 48220
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