Upcycling and What It Means to Wheyward Spirit

By upcycling and building a circular economy approach to production, we reduce the strain of food waste on the ecosystem, maximize all of the inputs of food production.
January 21, 2022

What is Upcyling?

“To use waste materials, to create new objects with greater value than the original material.” 

In a larger sense, upcycling is the process of creatively reusing materials that are considered waste, unwanted, or useless, into new materials or products that have greater value in an artistic and environmentally conscious way. 

We’re not shy to say Wheyward Spirit is a work of art, serving as a cocktail base for a variety of beverages or a sippable drink all on its own. Its versatility comes from our distillation process focused on using excess whey instead of grains, grapes, fruit or agave and less water than a traditional grain to glass whiskey, vodka, or gin. But why whey? And why is upcycling so important to Wheyward Spirit?

Why Wheyward Spirit Upcycles

More than 30% of all food produced in the US goes to waste. As societal and government concerns for rising greenhouse gas emissions and water scarcity increase, more consumers want a better way to spend their money, help the environment, and make a difference with their purchases.

This issue has become so critical it is now part of the United Nations (UN) sustainable development goals. Our circular economy approach to production is closely aligned with their focus on Sustainable Consumption and Production (12.3) with the goal of doing more and better with less. It is also about decoupling economic growth from environmental degradation, increasing resource efficiency, and promoting sustainable lifestyles. We are also aligned with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and United States Department of Agriculture’s USDA goals to reduce food waste.

Alcohol Made From Whey

For every ten pounds of milk, cheese makers can produce one pound of cheese. While that’s great news for everyone who loves a nice charcuterie board, that leaves nine pounds of nutrient rich whey left behind. This high-quality whey is made of water, nutrients, and minerals. Whey is occasionally fully utilized in other food products (which we love), but often large fractions go unused, leaving billions of pounds as food waste, putting a strain on the food system. 

Fresh whey has a natural, mild sweetness and creamy smoothness that is divine. Our founder and CEO, Emily Darchuk, initially worked as a food scientist in the natural food and dairy industry. She observed the pain point of that whey waste was causing on producers and started working with local dairies firsthand. 

Emily knew she could convert whey into a versatile alcohol, but as a consumer who cares about flavor and the impact of her purchases, she wanted to make something unique for others who, like Emily, care about the origin of their food without compromising on taste or going overboard on cost.

Sustainable Alcohol Brands: Why Wheyward 

“The biggest realization is that waste isn’t waste. By taking a holistic look at our food system, we are bridging gaps in the existing supply chain and handcrafting a product that adds value to our producers and customers"

In the spirit of sustainability and a better tasting alcohol, we partnered with domestic dairies to upcycle whey waste, hand-craft Wheyward Spirit, and do spirits differently. This way, we give back to the food system and creating a sippable spirit that’s made for something more. 

By upcycling and building a circular economy approach to production, we reduce the strain of food waste on the ecosystem, maximize all of the inputs of food production, and lower the impact of spirit production.

Wheyward Spirit is our opportunity to give someone like you, who cares about the environment, the chance to effect change. To work together to be more sustainable and influence change in how products are made.

Journey Wheyward Into Upcycling: Join our Herd

Ours is an unconventional specialty spirit, made with a lot of creativity and science to provide you with something sippable and sustainable. We’re about doing things differently for the right reasons with the goal of making a handcrafted spirit where you can taste a difference and make a difference. 

We’re committed to reducing waste at the source and creating a new way to enjoy your favorite cocktails and spirits. Join the herd, and come with us on a journey of doing things differently, while still having a darn good time. 

Reduce waste, sip on something bold and beautiful, and savor the flavor Wheyward Spirit for yourself. Shop our store.