Endangered Distilling Co.’s first release Don’t Feed the Ducks Bread Vodka is made from leftover bread destined for the bin salvaged from restaurants, cafes, bakeries, and supermarkets.
A recent report showed that Australians are wasting less food, but we’ve still got a lot of work to do. While there’s waste at all stages of food production and manufacture in Australia, most waste – about two thirds, according to WWF – comes from restaurants, supermarkets, and retail venues.
“The ironic thing is that if we promote the conversation that we want to promote, and people waste less bread, we won’t have a product to make. But that’s fine. We’ll find something else to do,” Endangered Distilling Co. co-owner Nathan Campbell says.
The ethos of experimentation, innovation, and waste minimisation underpins the label (making great booze is a high priority too, of course). Endangered Distilling Co. intercepts food destined for landfill and byproducts from food and beverage production before it goes into the waste cycle, and turns it into boutique beverages.
The team has been collecting the pulp from the cold-pressed juicing business that shares their distillery space, and they’ve already got another new-product-from-by-product in the works.
Don’t Feed the Ducks is Endangered Distilling Co.’s first release, but it’s not their first project together – they launched liquor distribution company Brands on Parade in August 2018.
Don’t Feed the Ducks has been a long time in the making. But things take time when you do everything yourself. “It’s pretty common for distilleries to buy a neutral spirit and then put their own touch on it,” Endangered Distilling Co.’s Trent Bowring says.
“It’s important to me that we do it all from scratch. I think some of the better products on the market are the ones that are started from the base, because that’s where the flavour is created—that’s where it all starts. To have control from day one is unique and interesting.”
“This all came about from thinking about waste, and getting really fed up with it,” Nathan says.
“I was working at a local café and we were serving sourdough bread, which is an oval loaf. You’d have to cut the ends off and throw them out.
“Not many hospitality venues engage in recycling. There’s no separation of waste, and people throw away bottles.”
Endangered Distilling Co. intercepts here, too. All its bottles are collected from local venues, cleaned, and filled with vodka.
Nathan says Don’t Feed the Ducks has been well received. “It’s nice and textural, but it’s still quite clean as well—and it’s got a nice, sweet brioche nose on it.”
Oh, and remember: don’t feed the ducks. It’s no good for them. “It’s got no nutritional value, but it fills them up. So they end up being quite overweight and malnourished. If you’ve got bread, give it to us instead.”
Find it and Drink it at Drink Co, Hop Vine and Still, Lark Cellar Door, Landscape Restaurant and Grill, Grinners Dive Bar, Rude Boy, New Sydney Hotel, The Lounge by Frogmore Creek, and Robbie Brown’s. More venues coming soon.
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