Draff, the by-product of the malting process, is damp grain produced in large quantities by the distilling and brewing industries. The Dundee-based French designer and furniture maker Aymeric Renoud uses the waste product to make extraordinary furniture pieces, and his latest creation is a beautiful Whisky Tray.
In Scotland, the whisky industry alone produces an estimated 443,000 tonnes of draff every year, and to help reduce the strain on landfill, alternative uses have been sought for this by-product. Historically, it has been converted into high-protein animal feed or turned into biofuel.
Over recent years, greater effort has been put into finding other sustainable uses for it as smaller and urban distilleries struggle to find alternative uses for the limited quantities they produce.
Aymeric Renoud (above) sources it to create a sheet material that can be used as an alternative to fibreboard which he has aptly named ‘Draff Material’. Heat and high pressure combine to make the material, and unlike the traditional process, Renoud’s method is entirely water-based and non-toxic.
The material is used to create sustainable, durable and unique furniture products; the grains and botanicals used in the distilling process remain visible, allowing for a wonderful array of finishes.
Draff Studio’s latest project, designed in collaboration with Jane Adams of AUTHOR Interiors, is to create an exclusive drinks tray specifically for the whisky connoisseur.
Draff was sourced from Angus-based distillery Arbikie for the drinks tray using barley produced on their own estate. Arbikie calls themselves a ‘field to bottle’ distiller, and the draff used in the whisky tray is from their single malt.
AUTHOR Interiors, also based in Angus, specialise in British-made, modern heirloom pieces and place great emphasis on provenance. The barley variety used in the Draff Whisky Tray was called ‘Diablo’ and was grown on Arbikie’s farm in 2021 in their East Meadows field.
Renoud and AUTHOR Interiors are looking forward to adding more craft distilleries to their portfolio, offering whisky drinkers a tangible link to the key ingredients at the heart of their favourite distillery.
The new Draff Whisky Tray is available exclusively at AUTHOR Interiors, whose website is www.authorinteriors.com. It is available in two sizes, small and large. The smaller version of the tray is 27cm diameter – £385, and the larger one is 37cm diameter – £425.
Photography by Grant Anderson.
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