HONEST VODKA MADE SUSTAINABLY
In the village of Koskenkorva, sustainability is a way of life.
Koskenkorva vodka is named after the village in Finland, where real farmers harvest the world’s northernmost barley that they turn into the purest possible spirit and combine with unfiltered spring water to make a vodka of true integrity.
They have their own bioenergy plant at Koskenkorva, especially designed to use the barley husks that are left over from the distillation, as fuel for steam generation. The bioenergy power plant is the first of its kind in Finland. The distillery is actively participating in the development of renewable energy.
The Koskenkorva plant has a 99.9% recycling rate (don’t worry, back in the village they’re still working on that 0.1%) and was the first spirit to win the Green Company of the Year Award.
All in all, Koskenkorva work sustainably and have a special focus on what they call circular economy. In addition to grain spirit, their plant produces starch and raw materials for animal feed. Even the carbon dioxide generated in the process is collected and used in greenhouse cultivation.
The Koskenkorva bioenergy power plant uses barley husks as fuel and produces steam energy that is then used in distillation.
The ashes are used in the nearby barley fields as a fertiliser. And thanks to the renewable fuel, they’ve been able to decrease their carbon dioxide emissions remarkably.
Altia, the company behind Koskenkorva vodka, cooperates with the Baltic Sea Action Group (BSAG) to promote sustainable agriculture and protect the Baltic Sea and other waterways. For this sustainability work Altia and the distillery, the Koskenkorva plant, were awarded the Green Company of the Year award in the 2018 Spirits Business Green Awards. They are exceptionally proud of that.
THE NORTHERNMOST BARLEY IN THE WORLD
Koskenkorva is made of the northernmost barley in the world. Barley provides the best harvest in the arctic climate of the village. Koskenkorva use custom barley varieties, such as Saana and Elmeri, that have been developed for the short growing season of Finland.
The summer days are so long that for almost a month the sun doesn’t set at all and all that abundant light enhances the enzymatic properties of the barley.
Most of the barley they use is sourced locally within a 200 km radius of the Koskenkorva village. Barley also enables a clean fermentation and distillation process which requires less washing and less water.
PURE SPRING WATER
The other key ingredient and one of the main reasons the vodka tastes so smooth is the 100% unfiltered and unprocessed pure spring water. The water in Finland is known of its exceptional quality. Water from rain and melting snow flows through the ridges of Salpausselkä and its sandy soil cleans the water naturally. The effect of the ground and the lack of chemical treatment give the water a fresh taste and clear colour.
The water quality is examined regularly by an external laboratory.
The water is pumped from seven to eight meters below the ground to the Rajamäki bottling plant where it’s added to the grain spirit. To keep the exceptional water quality, Altia protects the water abstraction areas by owning land, limiting construction in the area and establishing environmental protection.
The Koskenkorva distillery has a state-of-the-art distillation process that uses a highly developed producing technique that allows for an exceptional material efficiency. The process can use 100% of the barley grain and the production runs nonstop for 350 days a year.
The continuous distillation uses altogether 9 columns. This raises the distillation efficiency up to 99%. It has several advantages over regular batch distillation such as the ability to distill larger amounts more efficiently. There also isn’t any need for unnecessary washing. This decreases water consumption, chemical and energy use, and ensures uniform quality. And finally, it means a 100% unfiltered pure spirit after the distillation.
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