Bain’s Whisky Goes Green As The James Sedgwick Distillery Leads The Way In Sustainability

Africa’s only commercial whisky distillery is leading the way to building a sustainable future for our planet. The James Sedgwick Distillery has been at the forefront of innovation with state-of-the-art equipment and ingenious sustainability projects.

Based in the small town of Wellington, South Africa, The James Sedgwick Distillery is home to some of the world’s best whiskies. In 2019, the Three Ships and Bain’s Mountain Whisky producer was named Green Company of the Year for its commitment towards implementing a significantly more sustainable way of working. This year, it scooped the Sustainability Leadership Award in the BIG 2020 Sustainability Awards. This for successfully making sustainability an integral part of their business practice or overall mission. 

 Bain’s Founder Distiller Andy Watts.

From as early as 1995, master distiller Andy Watts and his team have implemented a number of initiatives to reduce its carbon footprint. These are just some of the sustainable practices invested in to help sustain the environment for future generations.

Upcycling spent grains into animal feed

Spent grains is a pure waste product of distilling, but it turns out that the grain left over after making whiskey is perfect for feeding livestock.

On-site wastewater treatment

Production of liquors requires large amounts of water, some of which is discarded as wastewater. Through a reverse osmosis plant the distillery treats wastewater on site. Spent grain is taken to the anaerobic digester where it (animal feed) is separated from the wastewater, which is then treated in a reverse osmosis plant to a standard where it can be re-used in the process as boiler water. This results in an approximate saving of 35% of our water requirements.

Reduce coal usage

In order to reduce coal usage, methane gas is captured as a by-product from the anaerobic digester.

Upcycle CO2 for fizzy drinks

By collecting the CO² emanated during fermentation, the distillery repurposes this greenhouse gas for use in carbonated drinks.

Green Packaging

To celebrate The James Sedgwick Distillery’s recent accolades for sustainability, Bain’s Cape Mountain Whisky, has launched a limited-edition green label, will be available from leading retailers for around R289.

Bain’s was launched in 2009, long before single grain whisky became a trend around the globe. The vision for this whisky was to offer consumers something truly South African.

“It all started with South African yellow maize, light and sweet in taste, and maturing the spirit not once but twice, in new rather than the customary older wood.  The result is nowhere near similar to any other whisky. The masterful double extraction of flavour and colour, and incredible smoothness has led to Bain’s Cape Mountain Whisky being awarded as the World’s Best Grain Whisky not once, but twice in 2013 and 2018.”

Andy Watts

Watts says that together with the warm South African climate which accelerates maturation, resulting in an exceptionally smooth whisky with extraordinary flavour, the whisky is truly one of a kind.