If you’ve been to any business that produces a spirit, like a winery or a distillery, you’ll quickly learn that they all have one thing in common – they try to reuse whatever waste they can because it’s a smart business decision. Wineries take grape skins, stems, and seeds and use them as compost. Breweries and distilleries take their waste and resell it to other companies who turn it into feed.
It turns out that Bruichladdich is building an anaerobic digester to turn yeasty waste into methane gas, which can be burned for electricity! Bruichladdich is an Islay, which means it’s on the same small island as its more well known Islay bretheren – Ardbeg, Laphroaig, Lagavulin, … the list goes on. As is the case with islands, the waste needs to go somewhere and right now it’s being pumped into the Sound of Islay.
Each year, the distillery spends about $35,000 ferrying the waste to the pipeline for disposal and they’re going to replace it with a digester that could produce as much as 80% of the power the distiller needs. When you combine these savings with the renewable power credits, it’s a win win. It’ll take only 3-5 years to recoup the cost!