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).
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
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
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
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
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