Symphonia Spirits in line for major UK sustainability award

Northern Ireland’s Woodlab Distillery, producer of the award-winning Symphonia spirits especially craft gins and a Caribbean Irish apple rum, has been shortlisted for the final stage of the influential 2021 Footprint Drinks Sustainability Awards.

The annual awards are seen as “the barometer for sustainability and responsible business practice for the drinks industry and represents the annual celebration of businesses and individuals making a difference to sustainability in the industry and its supply chain”.

Dr Ulric Dyer, the founder and managing director of Woodlab Distillery, says: “We are delighted that we, a small Northern Irish company, has been shortlisted alongside the biggest drinks companies in the world and it is fantastic recognition of the innovative approach we have taken to spirits production.”

Other shortlisted companies include global producers such as Budweiser, Coca Cola, Fever Tree, Innocent Drinks, Molton Coors and Pernod Ricard

Symphonia producer Woodlab, which is based in a small distillery at Moy in county Tyrone, was shortlisted “because unusually, its founder and distiller Dr Dyer is also an organic chemist and had enjoyed an impressive career in the pharmaceutical industry”.

The organisers were also impressed by his focus on creating successful spirits while remaining consistently mindful about how to reduce the company’s impact on energy and the earth’s natural resources. It meant harnessing science with nature to create the best tasting spirits possible, capturing the wonderful flavours and fragrances of botanicals in the most eco-efficient way.”

The aim was to make spirits that reflect the glory of the Northern Irish countryside.

Dr Ulric continues “Our commitment to the region is deep: embracing the ‘giant spirit’, we live, work and create in the Orchard County of Ireland. It is a rural landscape of rustic natural beauty, rugged coastlines, rolling green hills – and the wildest botanicals and herbs.”

Symphonia’s ethos also meant giving something back to the country. The company features a scientific approach to the developing flavours. Ingredients were also sourced as ethically and locally wherever possible –“this helps the environment by reducing carbon emissions due to transport and supports the local economy”. 

The distillery, in addition, was different in its use recycled glass in the stills, which are not only more environmentally friendly than copper, but they have also been scientifically proven to give a cleaner taste.

The distillery created a unique process combining three techniques: cold distillation, hydrodistillation, and molecular analysis.  These ground-breaking innovations ensured the rich, delicate, flavours of the botanicals are extracted with the maximum efficiency and preserve their taste quality. They also hugely reduce energy consumption using only two percent of the energy required for traditional distilling. These techniques brought additional space efficiency.  The distillery has a reduced physical footprint compared to others. It is the only distillery in the world using these combined processes.

The company, in addition, worked with stakeholders - suppliers, customers, and community partners committed to best sustainable practise with business relationships that are respectful and enduring.  Symphonia was committed to producing gin in the most environmentally friendly way possible.