Category

Growing

Conventional Drilling at the Spirit of Yorkshire Farm, March 2020 13/04/2020

Growing: Planting our Barley

In the last fortnight we’ve planted all our barley for this summer’s crop (and next year’s whisky). As discussed in our previous post, 130 acres of this have been direct drilled straight into the cover crop that was drilled into the stubble after last year’s harvest. Around 75 acres has been planted conventionally. Here’s a video of Tom talking about direct drilling in more detail (click here to view).

Cover crops on trial acres at the Spirit of Yorkshire Farm 28/02/2020

Growing: Direct Drilling

Field to bottle isn’t just a phrase we use. As one of the few distilleries around the world who farm all the barley they use in their whisky, we not only get to choose which varieties we grow, we also determine how we grow it. This is really important to us and something that our co-founders know and care a lot about. Tom has lived on the farm for his whole life and has been farming (or working on the farm) since he was young. David’s area of expertise is... Read More

Wind Turbines at the Spirit of Yorkshire Farm 25/02/2020

Growing: Wind Power

Co-founder Tom has long been an advocate of wind power – he first put in an application for a wind turbine in the early 90s but the farm’s proximity to an RAF base meant that it wasn’t feasible to have one then.  Tom kept researching the prospect though and in the late 2000s, T1 and T2 were installed. Between them, they generate 400,000 kw electricity a year and whenever the wind is blowing, they are in motion. When they’re moving, they provide all of the power needed for the farm, brewery... Read More

Tom and David, co-founders of the Spirit of Yorkshire Distillery, talk to the Yorkshire Post about the distillerys field to bottle process 22/10/2019

Growing: Field to Bottle in the Yorkshire Post

Field to bottle is a really important phrase for us. It’s one of our most crucial points of difference and it’s totally authenticate because we’ve been farmers and connected to agriculture for far longer than we’ve been making whisky. In fact, we’ve been growing malting barley here on our farm on the Yorkshire Wolds since 1945. We understand our land and we’re always looking for new ways to farm more sustainably and ensure the farm continues to thrive long into the future.  In this weekend’s Yorkshire Post, Tom and David... Read More

Harvest at Hunmanby Grange in the 1940s/50s. An open cab tractor pulls along an early style combine. Very different from present day combines! 28/08/2019

Growing: Harvest

Growing: Harvest August means one thing for farmers: harvest. The culmination of a year of growing. Here on our farm at Hunmanby Grange, harvest began little later than most, as all our crops this year are ‘spring’ varieties, meaning that they’re not planted until the spring.  A bit of background The word ‘harvest’ comes from the Old English haerf-est which meant ‘autumn’ and/or ‘august’ and signified the period in the calendar when the crops had reached maturity and were ready to be gathered in. The main principles behind the harvesting... Read More

Joe from SOY and Justin from Staal Smokehouse conduct a tasting Masterclass at the SOY Open Day 2019 26/07/2019

Growing: Collaborations

As an area, Yorkshire definitely ‘over indexes’ on incredible food producers, doing really interesting and exciting things. Some of these are world famous and household names but some are much smaller, founder-run businesses who excel in one area. It’s this mix that we think makes the food and drink of the county so special. Over the past few years, we’ve been partnering and collaborating with some of, we think, the best producers in the area, developing new products that fuse our spirit with their foods – ‘growing’ but from a... Read More

Water coming from the farm to the Spirit of Yorkshire Distillery 29/06/2019

Growing: Water

Whisky can’t be made without water, so this month we’re looking at the clear liquid, rather than the amber one. Earlier this month, we came across this article in The Guardian discussing the impact of weather on water in Scotland. Anyone who’s ever spent any time in Scotland will know that drought isn’t the first thing that comes to mind when thinking about Scottish weather. But last year it had a negative impact on some distilleries, when their water sources weren’t able to support their needs.  Along with barley, water... Read More

Growing: Three Years

It’s been 3 years since our stills were first fired in May 2016 and the very first casks of Yorkshire whisky were laid down. Since then our 2016 casks have been patiently waiting in our warehouse, each day edging closer to becoming whisky. In celebration of our first distillations reaching the crucial whisky milestone of 3 years, for this month’s ‘focus on’ we’re looking back, with a touch of nostalgia (forgive us), at the last few years and discussing the maturation requirement: why it’s relevant and why we’re choosing to... Read More

Growing: Grow Yorkshire

Both Tom and David, our two co-founders, have agricultural backgrounds and both are passionate about evolving farming to be relevant to today, rather than just doing things because it’s how they’ve always been done. It’s what led Tom to set up the Wold Top Brewery (our sister brewery) in 2003, and what then gave both Tom and David the idea of the Spirit of Yorkshire Distillery a decade later. Grow Yorkshire is a great new initiative focused on inspiring Yorkshire farmers to grow their businesses beyond the usual – they... Read More

Planting barley at Hunmanby Grange 09/04/2019

Growing: Barley

Over the next few months on our blog we’ll be focusing on key production areas at our distillery. First up: Barley. We’re in a pretty unique position as whisky distilleries go, ‘field-to-bottle’ production in the whisky industry is a real rarity. Field-to-bottle to us means that every drop of spirit that runs from our stills can be traced back to the fields on our farm so naturally, as you might expect, we take barley seriously. This unique perspective allows us to look at barley with three hats on so to... Read More