DRINK BETTER E MILY DARCH U K, FO U NDE R & CEO
The Wheyward Way By Joseph Luparello
“IT CREATES A SIGNATURE FLAVOR THAT RETAINS A BEAUTIFUL COMPLEXITY WITH A NATURALLY CREAMY MOUTHFEEL AND FINISH THAT IS TRUE TO OUR SOURCE.”
Wheyward Spirit is an 80-proof specialty spirit fermented exclusively from dairy. The brand’s revolutionary approach to sustainable distilling is shaping a subcategory of spirits. The name itself has multiple layers of meaning. Perhaps the most obvious is the use of the word “whey,” symbolizing the pride the Californian-based distillers take in their naturally flavorful whey-based spirit.
The brand’s motto is also expressed in words printed on every bottle. It prioritizes doing things differently, but for the right reasons. What does this mean? Founder and CEO Emily Darchuk spent her whole career gathering extensive knowledge necessary to answer the question. Darchuk’s days as a food scientist in the natural food and dairy industry brought her attention to a specific dilemma. While working with dairy, she witnessed the great burden faced by the dairy community: whey waste. What she saw fueled an urge within her to step up and find a way to make change.
Darchuk understood that the excess whey could be converted to alcohol. With that in mind, she also wanted to create something unique for consumers who care about the origin of their food. So, she was inspired to domestically source dairy and upcycle the whey used for her own spirit. The resulting grain, gluten, and lactose-free spirit was a first of its kind. “All of our flavor is created through our fermentation process and the cuts we make during distillation to retain the natural complexity of the spirit,” elaborates Darchuk. “It creates a signature flavor that retains a beautiful complexity with a naturally creamy mouthfeel and finish that is true to our source.” Interestingly, using Wheyward Spirit as a base, you can drop the sweetness in most cocktails due to its natural flavors. The spirit is versatile and sippable but most of all sustainable. Since less than half of the 100 billion pounds of the underutilized byproduct is being repurposed, food waste is prevented, value is added, and a lower water and carbon footprint is achieved. Whey to go!