The ideology Mary Allison Wright and McLain Hedges launched Yacht Club with in 2021 was founded in offering the people of Denver the best elements of a members’ club, without the uptight exclusivity of some of these highfalutin establishments. They deigned to create an ‘anti-club club’: a place where anyone and everyone is welcome to relax and imbibe. Now well in its stride, the bar is making waves for its sustainability principles and people-focused mantra, as well as serving simply killer cocktails.
Behind the bar, Yacht Club flexes its eco-credentials, both reusing and reinventing by-products of cocktail production. Fruit peels and offcuts that would be otherwise discarded are re-used and fermented in a variety of styles for use throughout the cocktail list, empty glass bottles are used as vessels for pre-batching and there are no single-use containers, coasters or utensils in any part of the operation. All waste from the bar is measured, categorised and sorted, with continual changes to processes in order to reduce its ecological footprint.
In front of the bar, Wright and Hedges understand that sustainability extends beyond environmental factors, ensuring its working environment is also sustainable for its people that drive the bar. All staff are treated fairly within its collaborative creative process, with above-average pay for all employees. In addition to creating a safe haven for guests, this extends to its staff, with all team members provided diversity and inclusion training from the point they start work.
Thanks to its demonstrable devotion to reducing its carbon footprint, sustainable and inclusive people-first practices and a drinks list which maximises the potential of each ingredient, Yacht Club is the deserving winner of the Ketel One Sustainable Bar Award 2023.
Discover more about the previous award winners