Community spirits: These Isle of Wight drink producers embrace sustainability with every sip

There’s goodwill at The Isle of Wight Distillery too, which also receives hops from Ventnor Botanic Garden. The B Corp balances profit with purpose by producing spirits sustainably and advising companies such as Barnacle Brothers to do the same.

In its bar, I find out the distillery employs people living with disabilities. Sustainability manager Charity Parker adds, “We organize beach cleans with Surfers Against Sewage, and donate to Hampshire & Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust, which restores local seagrass meadows. Xavier is also rowing the Atlantic in 2023 to fundraise for these charities.”

The distillery minimizes its carbon footprint by sourcing honey from a local beekeeper and lemons, grapefruit and bergamot from Osborne House. It also encourages its supply chain to reach a carbon net zero target by 2050, resulting in its box manufacturer installing solar panels and glass manufacturer planting several trees every time a truck leaves its grounds.

In 2024, the distillery will celebrate the 10th anniversary of its flagship Mermaid Gin. Its plastic bottle has been transformed into a glass bottle, its shape resembling a mermaid’s tail, decorated with biodegradable gold paint and wrapped in a compostable seal.

Laden down with the bottles, I miss the once-an-hour bus to Ryde. Typical. But what’s more typical, I realize, is a local offering me a ride. This is the Isle of Wight, after all, and that’s the spirit.

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