WITH a desire to leave the rat race, Cooper King Distillery co-founders Chris and Abbie travelled across the globe, in search of sun, sand and adventure.

Whilst visiting Australia the pair became fascinated by Tasmania’s eight operational whisky distilleries and the hand-crafted premium whisky industry, which was just starting to take off in this part of the world.

With a mission to bring their discoveries back to Britain, the couple gave up their established careers, Chris a chartered architect and Abbie, a scientist, and set up a truly independent gin and whisky distillery back home in Yorkshire.

With the help of a small team of family and friends, funded through an innovative crowd funding campaign, their ‘Founders’ Club’ membership, Chris and Abbie built Cooper King Distillery, from scratch, in their garden! Based in Sutton-on-the-Forest, near York, Cooper King is proud to be Yorkshire’s only self-built whisky and gin distillery, and is now hoping to be named New Business of the Year at the Press Business Awards.

The initial batch of premium single malt whisky, made using Yorkshire barley, begins production this autumn, with a projected release date of 2023.

The business, which employs a team of three, is also hoping to impress judges in the Sustainable Business of the Year category.

The single biggest step Cooper King has taken towards becoming environmentally responsible is choosing to use the 100 per cent green energy supplier, Ecotricity. Powering the distillery with green energy reduces the environmental impact of its operations, while supporting Britain’s energy independence and reduciry’s reliance on fossil fuels.

The slightly higher energy costs mean the products cost a little more, however Chris and Abbie believe this a step in the right direction towards global sustainability and promoting green energy projects and wind farms.

It’s a small change for the distillery, with a positive impact globally.

The distillery is the first in Europe to join international environmental initiative, 1% for the Planet, and through that Cooper King has pledged to support approved environmental non-profit partners by donating of at least1 per cent of gin sales to a chosen project. The distillery has opted to far exceed this, donating 2.5 per cent of gin sales instead.

Through a partnership with Yorkshire Dales Millennium Trust, Cooper King’s contribution will see every bottle of gin sold support the planting of native broadleaf woodlands across the Yorkshire Dales. This will help to create vibrant wildlife habitats, reduce flooding and creating beautiful places that promote health and wellbeing. Cooper King have just made their first donation, which will see 120 trees planted.