The founders of Yorkshire’s first single malt whisky distillery are celebrating after being shortlisted for a national award celebrating the nation’s food and drink entrepreneurs.
Hunmanby based Spirit of Yorkshire Distillery’s co-founders, David Thompson and Tom Mellor have reached the final in the ‘Producer of the Year’ category of the 2022 Food and Drink Heroes Awards.
Organised by the founders of the Great British Entrepreneur Awards, the Food and Drink Heroes awards recognises, supports and celebrates challenger brands like Spirit of Yorkshire that make up 96% of Britain’s total food and drink businesses and contribute £18bn to the UK economy.
Spirit of Yorkshire, home to Filey Bay whisky, is the only Yorkshire finalist in the national competition and faces competition from businesses including Hawkshead Relish, Sharpham Park, Lakeland Artisan and Contract Bottlers Glasgow. The judging panel includes representatives from Coca Cola, Caffѐ Nero, Costa and Innocent Drinks.
“We’re pleased and proud in equal measure to be shortlisted for the inaugural Producer of the Year award. When we decided to distil Yorkshire’s first single malt whisky, we had no desire to simply replicate Scotch. We wanted to respect tradition but do things differently, so we’re delighted that our innovative and creative methods have been recognised with a place in the final,” said Thompson.
Francesca James, founder of Food and Drink Heroes, said: “The line-up of finalists is nothing short of impressive. I’m more than pleased to see even more entrepreneurs being given the chance to share their story. It’ll be a tough task for the judges to select the winners from such an impressive list of talent, but I have no doubt that this year’s finalists are some of the best businesses we’ve seen yet and will be recognised as such.”
Spirit of Yorkshire is a collaboration between farmer and brewer, Tom Mellor and business partner, David Thompson who fired up the stills at their distillery in the coastal village of Hunmanby in 2016 and launched Yorkshire’s first single malt whisky in 2019.