Distilling (solar powered) Vodka in Hawaii

Posted by Nino Marchetti, EarthTechling

When you open a distillery in sunny Hawaii, it should be quite easy to be able to power some, if not all, of your operations via solar energy. One such distillery is testing this theory, as Ocean Vodka Organic Farm and Craft Distillery, open since April, is laying claim to being 100 percent clean energy driven.

Ocean Vodka said in a news release that its Hawaiian location, a short distance from Maui’s international airport, is about 1,000 feet above sea level. It is situated on 80 acres along the slopes of Mount Haleakalā, so one thinks the distillery might make use of some geothermal energy in addition to solar. There’s no indication they do that however, instead having enough solar panels installed to provide all the power they need for the operations of distilling and bottling.

image via Ocean Vodka

image via Ocean Vodka

Other sustainable practices besides clean energy are put into play by the folks at Ocean Vodka. These include organic farming and hand harvesting of nearby sugar cane, which is what the vodka is distilled from; green manufacturing processes at its bottling facility that result in bottles made from 60 percent recycled glass that are decorated using organic based inks and support for raising awareness of ocean conservation.

One of the reasons likely for the last sustainability item listed is the fact the distillery sources water for its vodka from 3,000 feet below the big island of Hawaii. The water there is said to be high in mineral content, reportedly giving the spirit its own “unique” flavor. Once it is brought to the surface, it is purified and desalinated through reverse osmosis.

* Nino Marchetti, EarthTechling