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Growing: Earth Day 2022


In celebration of Earth Day this year, over the next couple of weeks we’re going to be doing a number of pieces about what we’re doing to help the Earth here at Spirit of Yorkshire.

We’ll be stripping our field to bottle process right back, expanding every step with substantial detail. Starting at the very beginning, this piece is an insight into the history of our farm.

For us, at the home of Filey Bay Yorkshire single malt whisky, it’s about doing things properly. That’s why we’re obsessed with every step of the distilling process, from field to bottle, using 100% homegrown barley. We’re in control of every stage of the growing and distilling process, from choosing the variety of barley and how it is grown, right through to bottling ourselves at the distillery. Very few other distilleries in the UK can claim this and it’s something we’re exceptionally proud of.

Co-Founder Tom Mellor’s (third-generation) grandfather also known as Tom Mellor (first-generation) bought Hunmanby Grange farm in 1945. Tom’s father, yet another Tom Mellor (second-generation), was born with a problem with his heart and the doctor prescribed fresh air. With that in mind, Tom (first-generation) and his wife moved the family from Triangle, near Halifax to the farm that Tom (third-generation) and his family now call home.

The fresh air worked its magic and Tom Mellor (second-generation) took over the farm in the mid 1950s. Our Tom (third-generation) continued in these footsteps.

“By the late 1990’s, early 2000’s the ‘usual’ crops of oilseed rape, wheat and barley weren’t commanding the same sorts of prices and so we had, like everybody else in the country, to look to diversify our business.”

Tom Mellor, Co-Founder, Spirit of Yorkshire.

Tom (third-generation) started to look at the farm’s assets and resources. The two main points that struck him were the fact that it had its own water supply and was perfect for growing malting barley.

Add two more ingredients to water and barley, yeast and hops, and you can make beer. With this, Tom and his wife Gill set up Wold Top Brewery in 2003.

For the next piece, we’ll be going into more about the soil health and how we farm.

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