Award-winning Alpine Distilling invests in sustainability
PARK CITY, Utah — In its first year of operation in 2016, Alpine Distilling won Platinum, Double Gold, and Gold awards for its spirits. Virtually every year since, its gin and whiskey have taken home more awards, including Gin of the World— that’s right, the best gin in the world is made right here in Park City.
While owners, distillers, and well-decorated masters of their respective crafts, Sara (gin) and Rob (whiskey) Sergent, are proud of Alpine’s quality spirits, they’re just as proud of the sustainable investments with which spirits are made.
“We were keenly aware of the environment in which we live and being stewards for our community,” Sara said. “We are in this wonderful place that we want to be in, and so we have a responsibility to invest heavily in the community, support local nonprofits, take care of our team, and reduce our impact.”
When the Sergents built their facilities, reducing their footprint was in the blueprints. It’s no secret Utah has experienced heavy drought. So, Alpine Distilling prioritized water conservation.
Its low-flush toilets, tankless water heaters, and closed-loop water systems essentially eliminate water waste. The production site is run on steam, and Sara’s preferred distilling method is 100% vapor extraction. This process allows her to highlight flavors from her botanical powerhouse: juniper (of course), coriander, angelica root, cardamom, ginger root, orange peel, and lemon peel.
“100% vapor extraction is a beautiful way to pull what I want from the botanicals. It’s a delicate balance, and it’s quite lovely. It’s a little bit more time-consuming, but it’s all for the betterment of the spirit and the environment.”
Its spent grains (a major waste factor for distillers) are sent down to the valley to be recycled into fuel. At the Lounge, leftovers from its pies, charcuterie, and even cocktail garnishes are recycled through Momentum’s food waste recycling program. Also, the Lounge only uses plantable and biodegradable coasters, biodegradable straws and napkins, and no plastic cutlery or to-go containers.
The list truly goes on, which is part of the reason Alpine Distilling won Recycle Utah’s Green Business of the Year in 2022.
The Sergents believe, in addition to the litany of mindful business methods, that Alpine’s sustainable payment of its employees (as well as 401k and health benefits) put the business across the finish line for the award. She also believes that paying workers sustainable wages shouldn’t be a novelty.
In 2016, Alpine and the Green Business Program were in their infancy. Alpine hitched its wagon to the program right away, “it was a nice alignment because we already had sustainability on our mind,” Sara said. “Our green business initiatives and how we approach the craft of our spirits produce world-renowned spirits. It’s a path. There’s a heavy investment to do the right thing,” she said.
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