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Berry Bros celebrates sustainability pioneers

Wine and spirits merchant Berry Bros & Rudd has released a collection of spirits created by sustainable distillers.

Berry Bros & Rudd collection of whiskies, titled The Collective 1 Pioneers
The Collective launched at an event at Berry Bros & Rudd’s store in London’s St James last month

The Collective #1: The Pioneers features 10 global producers who are making exceptional liquids while also considering the future of the planet.

The Collective will be an annual release that brings together like-minded distillers, based around a different topic.

This year’s collection included distilleries such as Arbikie in Scotland, Belgrove in Tasmania and Jean-Luc Pasquet in Cognac, France. For a full list, see below.

The distilleries were selected for their exceptional approaches to sustainability. Arbikie, for example, uses hydrogen fuel and grows carbon-positive crops on its estate, while Belgrove is a ‘closed-loop’ operation, with its founder growing his own rye, building his own stills and firing them with used chip-fryer oil.

The brands included in the collection have also considered sustainability in terms other than the environment. GlenWyvis was the first Scottish distillery to be founded as a social enterprise, with the business 100% community-owned.

GlenWyvis supports local projects with grants as part of its GoodWill Fund, as well as using hydro, solar and biomass energy in its production.

Each spirit in the collection was selected by Berry Bros & Rudd’s spirits reserve whisky manager, Jonny McMillan, in collaboration with bar owner Ryan Chetiyawardana, also known as Mr Lyan.

McMillan commented: “There is no set path on the sustainability journey, nor one single solution. The beauty of Collective #1: The Pioneers is that each distiller has taken a different approach to sustainability, with the strength being in the diversity and combination of practices, making a whole entity, with continuous learnings.

“We looked to find a broad spectrum of producers from various traditions of whisky and Cognac making with each distiller taking a slightly different approach to sustainability, some focusing on soil health and regenerative farming, others on lowering energy use or green power.

“For each distiller there is a different solution that fits the location and character of their distillery, together they form a great overview of what’s going on with environmentally pioneering producers.”

Each whisky from The Collective #1 is priced at £125 (US$152) and Cognac at £75 (US$91).

Lizzy Rudd, Berry Bros chair, added: “As a family business with a long history, the notion of sustainability is a natural part of our ethos and our long-term mindset, a key to our resilience and longevity.

“The purpose of business is fast becoming defined by its impact rather than the products or services it sells.

“Today, the most important decisions we face are about how to reduce our impact on the planet now, and in the future. This is why our goal is to be net-zero carbon and plastic-free by 2030.

“Our producers are the best in the world at what they do. Like us, they believe that protecting our planet is the only way to ensure the future of fine wine and spirits. We believe that, together with our producers, we can improve practices around the use of water, energy and plastic.

“We are not just a business, we are family, a family who are the custodians of a legacy for future generations.”

The Collective #1: The Pioneers

  • Agitator 2018 Single Malt Swedish Whisky
  • Arbikie 2017 Single Grain Scotch Whisky
  • Ardnamurchan 2017 Single Malt Scotch Whisky
  • Belgrove 2016 Single Rye Tasmanian Whisky
  • GlenWyvis 2018 Quarter Cask Finish Single Malt Scotch Whisky
  • Jean-Luc Pasquet 2017 Petit Champagne Cognac
  • Oxford Artisan 2019 Single Rye English Whisky
  • Nc’nean 2017 Single Malt Scotch Whisky
  • Shortcross 2017 Single Pot Still Irish Whiskey
  • Westland 2014 Madeira Finish Single Malt American Whiskey

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