Local gin distiller uses sustainable practices to give back
Local gin distiller Alpine Distilling has company-wide sustainability initiatives to give back to the community. One initiative involves water conservation.
Sara and Rob Sergeant opened Alpine Distilling in 2016. It has two locations, one in Silver Creek which just has bottle sales, and another on Main Street in Park City, which is a distillery and bar. The business won a Green Business Award in 2021 for its sustainable practices.
One sustainable initiative relates to water. Sara said as stewards of their community, it’s important for Alpine Distilling to keep track of how they use water.
“Whether it's whiskey production, gin, or liqueur production, we are carefully measuring our water, holding unspent water and recycling what we can on a daily basis,” she said.
The water they use comes from an aquifer behind the distillery. Rob said they have two different water filtration systems. It’s a challenge to filter iron and other minerals out of the water without using chemicals.
“We actually worked with a group out of St. Louis, to design a water system for us to use a novel system of holding, and then pressurizing the water to remove what we needed to,” Rob said.
Even steam is recycled. The distillery uses “steam jackets” that cover a boiler shell. These allow the steam to condense, and that water is used for cleaning since it's not drinkable.
Sara said the distillery also recycles its spent grains. The grains are collected by Wasatch Resource Recovery and turned into methane to be used as fuel. The waste from that process can also be used as fertilizer.
Rob said Alpine Distilling also makes its own cleaning products.
“When we distill, we're making cleaning material, we're making acetone and ethyl acetate and peripherals and acetyl aldehydes, and things like that," he said. "So, when you come to the distillery, we clean with what we make.”
The disinfectant they produced was a big help during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. Rob said they made 7 billion gallons of sanitizer for the state. Although it does have a unique, fruity smell.
Alpine distilling also regulates the distillery’s temperature to save energy, composts food and recycles glass and cardboard. Sara said it doesn’t take much to recycle.
“We all have the opportunity to do something and if we can do it on a smaller scale, anyone can do it.”
Rob and Sara said they might not see the benefit of their sustainability efforts right now, but they believe Parkites in the future will thank them.