The drinks world is all about sustainability right now, and the latest company to jump on that particular bandwagon is Waterford Distillery with its biodynamic Irish whiskey launch.
Waterford Distillery is the brainchild of Mark Reynier – the man behind the comeback of Islay’s Bruichladdich. After setting a milestone in 2016 when it distilled Ireland’s first organic whisky, it’s now taking its bioydnamic production to a whole new level, creating a concept which includes the distillery’s farm becoming self-sufficient.
The concept involves the farm creating home-made organic fertilisers to grow biodynamic barley which is then used to make the whisky.
‘Biodynamics is a farming philosophy, a way of life. It’s fascinating to see the world’s greatest winemakers attracted to this time-consuming way of running their farms,’ said CEO Reynier.
‘It all sounds pretty crazy, it’s easy to dismiss as cranky tree-hugging bunkum, but yet it’s funny how the greatest wines in the world are made under this unusual regime,’ continued Reynier. ‘[It’s] only natural we should give it a go for our whisky. As part of our extensive research we travelled Alsace, to see bioydynamics in action.’
‘When Mark first mentioned the idea, we thought he was mad,’ joked head brewer Neil Conway. ‘We had to educate ourselves on what exactly biodynamic farming is and how biodynamically-grown grain may effect the production process in the distillery.
‘The most satisfying part has been the openness of all the people involved in this project. It’s been a real team effort from the biodynamic growers, our maltsters and everyone at Waterford Distillery. We’re all learning from each other during this new chapter of malting, brewing and distilling.’
Of course, the special spirit distilled from biodynamic barley won’t be bottled for a good few years, but they’re on the horizon…