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Yorkshire’s first whisky distillery shortlisted for two regional rural business awards

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 both the Best Rural Diversification Project and the Best Rural Tourism categories of the Rural Business Awards 2019/20.

The three 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 for both awards.

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.

“To be shortlisted for one award is good, but two is amazing! It’s a credit to our dedicated team who are working hard to put Spirit of Yorkshire Distillery on both the world whisky and the Yorkshire coast tourism maps.”

Spirit of Yorkshire Distillery has been shortlisted in the rural tourism category alongside fellow North Yorkshire businesses Beech Farm and Cottages in the Dales to represent the North region that extends from Scotland to South Yorkshire. The regional winners will be announced at a ceremony at Newcastle University on October 11, and will go forward to a national final on February 27, 2020.

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 grain to glass 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 the only distillery operating in the UK that grows all of its own barley for its whisky production.


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