Botanicals and grains aren’t the only green thing at Alpine Distilling.
Recycle Utah, Summit County, Park City Municipal, and the Park City Chamber of Commerce recognized and awarded the local award-winning spirit business with the Green Business of the Year award for its continued work with sustainability in a Tuesday night ceremony at Deer Valley.
The ceremony also recognized Chesley Electric with the Zest for Zero award, Ski Butlers for the Global Impact award and EATS – Eat Awesome Things with a People’s Choice award. (See accompanying list).
“It was a very pleasant surprise,” said Col. Rob S. Sergent Jr. who, along with his wife Sara Sergent, co-owns Alpine Distilling. “It is always nice to be recognized, and Sara and I are dedicated to being stewards of our very fragile state.”
Sara said she is grateful to live in a community that appreciates businesses that work to make Park City a better and welcoming place.
“We stood up there, and as I looked at everyone who was there last night, it was nice to be in the company of so many people who are doing what we can to make this a great community,” she said.
Some of Alpine Distilling’s notable achievements in sustainability relate to its water and energy chilling and heating systems that are used to create award-winning spirits, according to a Recycle Utah press release.
“They work endlessly to conserve energy, water and also recycle everything possible including composting their spent grains,” it said.
Alpine Distillery’s eco-conscious endeavors have been a top priority for the Sergents since they opened in 2017.
For Rob, the effort begins with how the business manages water.
“It is our most precious resource, and we have constantly strived to produce what our community needs us to produce without being wasteful, over ambitious or frivolous with that resource,” he said.
In order to do that, the Sergents have to be cognizant of all things water, including how they manage its de-mineralization and deionization.
“We strive to do this without waste and without chemicals,” Rob said. “And we’ve really had a lot of success with that.”
Fractional distillation is another way the Sergents reduce water usage, Rob said.
“We use heat to create alcohol vapors in both Sara’s and my stills,” he said. “Most commonly around the world you would use water to turn those vapors back into a liquid, but we are working with a Utah company called North Slope Chillers and have added a large chiller system to manage and replace dependent water usage for the condensing.”
In addition, the Sergents work with U.S. Water Systems and built a custom program that doesn’t require chemicals, Rob said.
“So we end up using less water, and we do it effectively from an electricity consumption and time labor consumption standpoint,” he said.
Alpine Distilling’s sustainability efforts don’t stop there. They continue in how the Sergents dispose of spent grains and other waste leftover from the process, Sara said.
“All the botanicals we use for the whiskey, bourbon and gin and the minimal food wastes from our garnishes goes into their own holding tank and Wasatch Resource Recovery comes and collects that,” she said. “Their process is to make sustainable resources in biogas and bio-based fertilizer.”
Alpine Distilling also takes advantage of Park City’s recycling program for its cardboard and cans, and formed a partnership with Momentum Recycling for glass, Sara said.
The Sergents are also sustainability conscious when it comes to serving their products, in Alpine Distilling’s newly formed Park City Social Aid and Pleasure Club, according to Sara.
“We rarely use straws, but for those who need them, we now use a fully compostable straw,” she said. “It’s not agave or paper. We continue to look and explore new terrain.”
The Social Aid and Pleasure Club emerged out of the Alpine Pie Bar, Sara said.
“Rob and I met in and married in New Orleans, and all the Mardi Gras crews have social and pleasure clubs,” she said. “We still serve pie, and the lounge still serves as an extension of our dedication to true, good and beautiful experiences that showcase how we make and what we do with our spirits.”
Other Alpine Distilling sustainable efforts include working with other businesses and nonprofits in the community, Sara said.
“We do things with Mountain Town Music, Park City Ski and Snowboard and events for teachers and open up our space to nonprofits so they have a place where they can do events and have meetings,” she said. “As we continue to be stewards of our community and ambassadors of this great city, Rob and I enjoy what we do and we love being a part of this community.”
Recycle Utah’s Green Business of the Year Award is the most recent accolade given to Alpine Distilling.
Past awards include Gin of the Year in London in 2021, “Best in Show” at the 2022 International TAG Spirits Awards, USA TODAY’s 10 Best Readers’ Choice Travel Award contest in 2022 for Best Craft Gin Distillery, which it also won in 2019 and 2021.
Its Lafayette Bourbon won Gold and its Preserve Liqueur won Platinum at the 2016 International Consumer Tasting SIP Awards. A year later, its Traveler’s Rest 88 Proof American Single Malt Whiskey was awarded Gold, while Persistent Vodka was awarded Silver.
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