Since the 18th century, Slane Castle has served as a home base for the Conyngham family. In the 80s, the Castle played host to a series of now-iconic rock concerts and the historic site now serves as the setting for Slane Irish Whiskey, which was co-founded by father-son duo Henry and Alex Conyngham.
Located in the Boyne Valley of Co. Meath, Ireland, Slane aims to become one of the most environmentally-friendly distilleries in the industry and the modern facility at Slane Distillery was built with energy efficiency in mind.
“Dad, who I started the Slane Whiskey project with, always taught me that I will never own anything at Slane but instead should think about protecting it for the next generation,” explains Alex Conyngham. “That outlook means that we take a long term view on Slane Whiskey’s impact on environmental and architectural heritage and our local community. This is why aim to become a zero-waste facility, have restored 18th Century buildings, actively seek to leave a lighter carbon footprint and invest in measures that boost biodiversity both at the distillery and in our onsite barley cultivation.”
Despite being housed in 250-year-old farm buildings, Slane is aiming for 100% of the energy needed to make Slane whiskey to be generated by the distillery itself. The distillery harvests rainwater, produces virtually no waste and employs a heat recovery system.
“On the family farmland around the distillery, we are now growing barley for whiskey production,” adds Conyngham. “To improve soil health and boost biodiversity we have introduced break and cover crops and planted additional hedgerows and wild bird covers in the field margins.”
Slane Distillery manager Gearoid Cahill adds: “Here at Slane we are focused on operating our distillery as sustainably as possible. We use river water to cool our stills avoiding any refrigeration plant and equipment; our distiller’s draff is used by a local dairy farmer to feed his cows; we recover waste heat from our Stillhouse and Brewhouse batches to heat up the next batches of brewing water and distillation washes coming through; we are treating our own effluent on-site and in the coming years as our production volumes grow, we will operate an Anaerobic Digester on-site generating natural gas to fuel one of our steam boilers. Working at one with nature is important for us here at Slane.”
Now the family behind the whiskey wants to make sure that this low-waste approach continues even after the whiskey has left its doors.
“There is strong innovation in sustainability happening right across the drinks industry from raw material production all the way to the bartender crafting cocktails,” says Conyngham. “Slane Whiskey looks forward to collaborating, supporting and contributing to these initiatives where we can. Onwards and upwards.”
And while Slane is already focused on their sustainability practices, the work will continue.
“We will continue to try and push boundaries in lightening our footprint and boosting biodiversity,” promises Conyngham. “Any support in helping us to do this is hugely appreciated.”
For more information on Slane and sustainability practices, visit www.SlaneIrishWhiskey.com. 21+, please drink responsibly.
Our Best Stories Delivered Daily