Sustainable success for self-built distillery as it beats first year targets

An independent gin and whisky distillery is celebrating its first year in operation, putting much of its success down to a commitment to the local environment.

North Yorkshire-based Cooper King Distillery is celebrating its first year of trading since it released its award-winning sustainable gin. Beating its financial targets whilst raising more than £4000 for a local environmental charity, the distillery owes its success to an authentic product underpinned by a commitment towards sustainability.

Since releasing Cooper King Dry Gin in May 2018, the start-up distillery has already sold 5000 bottles, has scooped four major international taste and design awards, and has been recognised by industry professionals.

Co-founders Dr Abbie Neilson and Chris Jaume launched the business with strong values around craftsmanship, honesty and adventure. Self-building the distillery and making use of reclaimed materials, the distillery is powered by 100% green energy. Furthermore, the distillery includes a closed-loop cooling system that has already saved 13 tonnes of fresh water since opening in June 2018.

In a bid to further protect the environment, Cooper King Distillery cold-distil the gin before bottling it in a lightweight alternative to heavy glass bottles favoured by premium spirit brands. Each bottle weighs 300 grams less on average, uses less raw materials and is lighter to transport, thus reducing damaging CO2 emissions. Further still, all deliveries are made in plastic-free packaging thanks to a clever origami-style recycled cardboard box that the couple developed with a Yorkshire manufacturer.

The distillery also launched a successful gin refill scheme which has seen hundreds of gin lovers visit to reuse their bottles to enjoy their favourite gin whilst reducing waste.

Cooper King Distillery is also recognised as the only distillery in Europe to support 1% for the Planet, an environmental initiative, pledging a minimum of 1% of their gin sales to their partner charity, the Yorkshire Dales Millennium Trust. In just 12 months £4,613 has been raised which has allowed for an additional 460 trees to be planted in the neighbouring Yorkshire Dales, beating the duo’s targets to plant 400 trees in its first year.

In a commitment to producing an award-winning spirit which is kind to its environment, honey is sourced from bees in the garden of the countryside distillery with further botanicals such as Yorkshire lavender sourced locally too.

Commenting on their business birthday, co-founder and distiller Abbie Neilson said:

“It has been an incredible year. We knew we would need to create a community to help fund the remaining build and equipment for the distillery via our Founders’ Club and this community has embraced our product, values and mission to support the environment. We pledged to plant trees for every bottle of gin sold and thanks to Cooper King Distillery founders, fans and stockists who’ve surpassed our expectations, we’ve beaten the target we hoped to reach.

“We’re delighted with the feedback from gin-lovers and eco-conscious consumers that we’ve provided a spirit which not only tastes good but does good too.”

As Cooper King Distillery enters its second year of trading, it has added another member to its team and the trio are now focusing on the production of whisky. Whisky will go into production this month with an expected release date of 2024.


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