We Distill Responsibly
Distilling is an energy-intensive process that utilizes gallons upon gallons of water throughout the manufacturing production.
Valentine is one of the largest craft distilleries in the U.S. today. And since we’ve been a pioneer in the industry since 2007, it’s only appropriate that we vow to play a positive role on the environmental and resource changes happening today – in Michigan and around the world. To be specific, we have committed to a 10-year climate sustainability initiative that was unveiled in 2019.
Our 10-Year initiative projects to save 4.75 million gallons of water over the 10-year period and invest $500,000 toward the goal of reducing our energy usage, recycling and re-using raw materials and generating clean energy.
It is estimated that…
Craft distilleries, on average, use at least 500 gallons of water per day. Times that number by the 1,800 craft distilleries in the U.S., that is nearly 1 million gallons of water per day being utilized, and the majority is process water that is being wasted.
You’ve heard of farm to table, but have you heard of farm to bottle to farm?
This is exactly how Valentine recycles the grains they use, from their all-grain distillery, in their distillation process. First, they purchase the grains from Midwestern farmers. Then, they process the grains during production. While the grain goes through the distillation process, the starches are removed leaving them protein rich when the process is complete. After production, the grains are then returned back to the farmers for cattle feed.
Valentine is proud to call Michigan, the Great Lakes state, its home. And because it is the Great Lakes state, water is near and dear to Valentine. As part of this initiative, a newly purchased piece of equipment will recapture 95-98% of water lost during the distillation process by the distillery, which is equivalent to approximately 2,000 gallons of water per day for the distillery’s size. With much of Valentine’s water source coming from the Great Lakes, it is crucial to be respectful of its usage in order to preserve this natural resource.
Throughout the manufacturing of spirits, heating and cooling elements are used on a regular basis as separate systems. Valentine is coming up with ways to integrate these systems through heat transfer solutions.
Another inspiration towards implementing a long-term sustainability initiative came from Valentine’s cocktail lounge neighbor, MBrew. MBrew plants a palm tree every summer in their front yard and then relocates it during the Michigan winter. This past winter, in an effort to maximize their carbon offset, they placed the palm tree in their production facility. The facility has 45-foot tall ceilings with natural light coming in creating a livable and successful environment for the tree. Palm trees are one way to absorb the 30-40 pounds per year of carbon dioxide that is created during the fermentation process.
“The palm tree is symbolic of our efforts and serves as an everyday reminder to what is important in Valentine’s role towards climate sustainability,” said Valentine. “Taking respectable steps towards preservation of our natural resources, will ensure a better, more sustainable tomorrow for future generations, and that is part of our responsibility.”
The little things make an impact too, such as recycling cardboard and glass, using paper straws in the cocktail lounge, and only serving them when customers ask for one.
Throughout this initiative, Valentine will work to implement wind and solar-powered solutions to help power the production facility, with the eventual goal of becoming carbon neutral. Currently, they are installing energy-efficient lighting and a higher efficiency steam boiler.