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Yorkshire’s first whisky distillery shortlisted in regional rural business awards final

A North Yorkshire business has been named as one of the best in the North by the Rural Business Awards.

Hunmanby based Spirit of Yorkshire Distillery has been shortlisted in the Best Rural Start Up category of the Rural Business Awards 2018/19. 

The two year old business was required to demonstrate the journey that co-founders David Thompson and Tom Mellor are taking towards establishing a business that is excelling in its chosen market and backed this up with examples of clear strategy, an understanding of the marketplace, growth and financial performance. 

The pair also had to illustrate how they have created the foundations for continued commercial success. 

David Thompson said: “Unlike most start-up businesses, we have to wait three years for our spirit to mature before we can market it as whisky, so we have had to find other ways, like tours, events and a destination coffee shop, to grow the business.” 

Spirit of Yorkshire Distillery has been shortlisted alongside four other start-up businesses, including East Yorkshire business Field and Forage, from the North region that extends from Scotland to South Yorkshire. The regional winners will be announced at a ceremony at The Last Drop Village, Bolton, on October 9, and will go forward to a national final in February, 2019. 

The Rural Business Awards, run in partnership with Amazon, honour the best in British countryside enterprise. 

Spirit of Yorkshire was launched in 2016 and is a collaboration between farmer and brewer, Tom Mellor from Wold Top Brewery and business partner, David Thompson.

The pair have invested significantly to follow their dream of creating a Yorkshire whisky that doesn’t simply replicate Scotch. The distillery is a true field to bottle setup and boasts some of the most impressive distilling equipment in the country, including two of the largest Forsyth pot stills operating in the UK outside of Scotland. It is thought to be the only distillery operating in the UK that grows all of its own barley for its whisky production. 

In addition to distilling whisky and conducting guided tours, Spirit of Yorkshire is home to the Pot Still Coffee Shop that serves a variety of home cooked, locally sourced food and hosts regular events including fortnightly Jazz and Blues nights, monthly Distillery Sessions and special events. Forthcoming events include Distillery Sessions with The Mile Roses on June 29 and a ‘Pot Still Pop Up’ whisky-inspired three course meal from Birds on the Loose on October 11.


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