Wheyward Spirit: Award Winning Since 2020

Wheyward Spirit has been winning awards for their unique whey spirit since they started the company back in 2020. See all the awards and mentions from Wheyward Spirit in the past few years.
June 2, 2022

It’s been a whirlwind couple of years for Wheyward Spirit. 

Since launching Wheyward Spirit’s product in late 2020, the company has gone on to earn multiple awards and recognitions across the country, showing the base spirit has earned a place behind restaurants and home bars.

See all of the awards Wheyward Spirit has received since 2020, and subscribe to our newsletter (Join the Herd) to get these updates, cocktail recipes, and promotions right to your inbox!


Most Admired 2020: Emily Darchuk, Wheyward Spirit

Spirited Magazine

Just as the product was released to the market, Spirited Magazine acknowledged Wheyward Spirit founder Emily Darchuk as one of the most admired makers in the spirits industry due to the quality of the product along with its mission to remove the whey from waste and upcycle something that would otherwise go down the drain into an award-winning spirit.


SBIR Funding Grant Award

USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture Small Business Innovation Research Program

According to the USDA NIFA site, “The Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program at the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) offers competitively awarded grants to qualified small businesses to support high-quality research related to important scientific problems and opportunities in agriculture that could lead to significant public benefits.” 

The awarded grant allowed Wheyward Spirit to research and develop tactical approaches to approaching the competitive spirits market with a product with very little recognition next to well-known spirits like whiskey, vodka, gin, rum, and tequila.    

2021 World Changing Ideas

Fast Company

Fast Company makes an annual list of “products that change the way we eat and how we get our food.” 

Wheyward Spirit’s process, which removes whey waste from the cheese-making process and upcycles that whey into a base spirit, fits perfectly into the criteria. While being the only sustainable spirit on the list, Wheyward Spirit was featured alongside other disrupting companies like Remilk, Purecane, and Sweet Green

Emily Darchuk: 2021 Environmental Fixer


Each year, Grist highlights 50 emerging leaders across the US who are working to create change and a better future across climate, sustainability, and equity. Founder Emily Darchuk earned the award for her work with Wheyward Spirit and removing a portion of the whey waste while turning it into a flavorful upcycled alternative to other spirits. 

[Quote] “Grocery shelves groan with eco-conscious alternative products, but food scientist Emily Darchuk saw a hole you could drive a milk truck through: Nobody develops or markets sustainable booze for the conscientious cocktail aficionado.”

2021 Spirits Category Award

Good Food Awards

One of the most prestigious awards in the food and beverage industry, the Good Food Awards acknowledge Wheyward Spirit as a 2021 Good Food Award Winner. 

From the press release: “The Good Food Awards acknowledge makers in the food system who are driving tasty, authentic, and responsible food in order to transform American food culture. Judges include hundreds of industry leaders, technical experts, grocers, chefs, food writers, and general ‘food movement leaders’ for a well-rounded panel to tap into the values of everyday consumers and industry professionals.”

Learn more about the Good Food Award — Spirits Category.

Double Gold Medal

New York World Wine & Spirits Competition

One of the most respected judging events in the eastern United States, the New York World Wine & Spirits Competition features some of the most respected judges in the wine and spirits category. A Double Gold medal recognition is achieved only when all members of the judging panel give the product a gold rating. 

“Judges of this competition include renowned writers and well-known New York City mixologists to esteemed beverage buyers, including Anthony Dias Blue, John Oliver, and Aimée Lasseigne New.”


Gold Medal

San Francisco World Spirits Competition

San Francisco World Spirits Competition is the largest spirit competition in the world. Judges of this competition include award-winning bartender Jeffery Morganthaler and a variety of mixologists, beverage buyers, and consultants such as Craig Schoettler, Chris Adams, Mark Bowery, and Stephen Beal.

A gold medal is awarded to spirits that are the best in their category and set the standard for their particular style. Wheyward Spirit’s mission — upcycling whey and removing it from the waste cycle, while providing a spirit with as much versatility as smooth flavor — earned the highest award at the competition. 

Founding Wheyward Spirit was a risk. There generally is not a space on the shelf or behind a bar for a whey-based spirit. However, through a year of research and development to get the perfect flavor, aroma, and texture, Wheyard Spirit is honored to receive recognition around the country for a product disrupting the highly-entrenched and highly-competitive spirits industry. 

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