A business is only truly profitable if it makes money while protecting the planet and its people. We take this very seriously at Spiritopia.
Currently, we are the only distillery that I am aware of that takes back our bottles for re-use. Recycling is great and we do a lot of it, but the energy required to recycle glass is high and there is nothing wrong with most of the bottles. Many of our customers love our gorgeous oval shape (I mean the bottle!) and keep a few around the house. Feel free, but when you have enough, bring the rest back and we will try to re-use them. Most are cleanable and we will recycle the ones that aren't. Better still, we pay you a buck a bottle for bringing them in to the tasting room.
We use organic ingredients whenever we can and still produce the best product at a reasonable price. We will confess that taste comes first. Luckily, we have been able to source the very best of several key ingredients from organically grown sources. This includes our ginger root and our raw sugar. While this routinely costs 2-3 times the conventional ingredient, we really believe in the benefits that organic agriculture brings to our watersheds and ourselves. Our ginger provider, La Grama, is a fabulous company that not only is certified organic, but is also pioneering better working conditions, education, and other benefits for their employees. The farm for our pomegranates is not certified organic, but no pesticides are used to grow the fruit. Our Gin Kit uses all organic botanicals.
We also source ingredients from our region when it is practical. Our apples are all from Washington and Oregon. Our pomegranates all come from California. Ginger requires a tropical climate so we found the best source on the planet (Peru!). Our Peppermint is hyper local with the farm being only a few miles from the distillery. Our barley is now sourced in Oregon from Mecca Grade Estate Malt, another small biz with a high stewardship ethic. We are even experimenting with alternative oak species to make our barrels from regional wood sources. It all adds up to local production and consumption that sustains our farmers, our communities, and our business.
Spiritopia has been a Pacific Power Blue Sky member since the day it was born. We are proud of our progress in tuning our process for energy efficiency and installing energy efficient LED lighting. We are pioneering the distilling practice of close loop condenser cooling which saves literally tons of water and produces a superior product.
Our latest addition to our stewardship efforts is joining the "Business Circle" of the Luckiamute Watershed Council. We started with a donation and are building on it with a joint event (The Community Crush). Hopefully, we can build awareness of both of our organizations and raise some funds for them at the same time.
We are always looking to improve so let us know if you have ideas or see opportunities that can help make us more sustainable.