Sustainability, eco-friendly are buzzwords bandied around companies, but they amount to little more than empty words for many. However, PENICILLIN in Hong Kong is going above and beyond when it comes to sustainability, and they’ve been recognised in the best way by picking up the Ketel One Sustainable Bar Award for 2021 by Asia’s 50 Best Bars.
PENICILLIN draws its inspiration from the farm-to-bar movement, which is currently taking the culinary world by storm. They were Hong Kong’s first bar to champion a closed-loop production model.
Their focus is on either locally-sourced or up-cycled food and drink, and they’re constantly exploring even more ways to minimise their carbon footprint.
The team at PENICILLIN are delighted to be recognised for their efforts and said, “We are constantly striving to innovate so we can reduce our carbon footprint and reach zero waste in our daily operations. It’s challenging, it takes patience, and it definitely takes a TEAM to do the job! From all of us at Penicillin, we thank 50 Best Bars for recognising our efforts in this.”
About the Ketel One Sustainable Bar Award
The Ketel One Sustainable Bar Award was introduced to Asia’s 50 Best Bars in 2018. Food Made Good Global assesses the sustainability rating of each bar through a system specially adapted from their restaurant rating, which has been used to assess sustainability for over ten years.
All of the bars on Asia’s 50 Best Bars list can enter the awards via self-nomination. The bar that achieves the highest rating in the audit becomes the recipient of the Ketel One Sustainable Bar Award.
“After pouring our hearts into this project, we are extremely grateful and humbled to receive such a meaningful recognition by our peers,” said co-founders Agung Prabowo and Roman Ghale.
“We hope PENICILLIN will inspire more people and businesses to take steps to become more eco-conscious and do more for our future generations to come.”
The PENICILLIN quest to become “scrap-less”
PENICILLIN’s ongoing quest is to become the first “scrap-less” bar in Hong Kong. Quite simply, this means they strive to reduce all waste by as much as possible at the end of each night.
Agung Prabowo and Roman Ghale and their dedicated team go to extraordinary lengths to achieve this. The kitchen by-products and common waste are frequently recycled and upcycled alongside engaging in self-brewing, growing ingredients, in-house fermenting and re-using ingredients in cocktails.
Their cocktail ingredients also use local Hong-Kong sourced botanicals to ensure that they minimise transport distance, conserve energy and reduce carbon emissions.
- PENICILLIN upcycles potato peels into bar snacks
As part of the drinking experience at PENICILLIN, guests are served free cassava chips and get the option to order Ultrasonic Fries from the bar snacks menu. The inevitable result is leftover potato and cassava peels are then turned into delicious, crunchy snacks, which are then served to lucky guests on random nights.
- PENICILLIN recycles paper and leftover ingredients to handmake bottle labels
The bar team uses materials such as leftover ingredients from the fermentation process (herbs, seeds, coffee grounds) and paper packages from suppliers to create recycled bottle labels featuring hand-written descriptions of each cocktail.
One Penicillin, One Tree: Drink a Cocktail, Plant a Tree!
True to its mission for sustainability, PENICILLIN has launched a highly special cocktail entitled One Penicillin, One Tree (HK$110), described as a “climate-positive cocktail that would make Sir David Attenborough proud”.
With every cocktail sold, one native Mallotus Muticus tree is planted in the endangered Kalimantan rainforest in Borneo, Indonesia.
The fast-growing upper canopy tree can reach up to 42 meters in height and can live for more than 200 years. One Mallotus Muticus is said to be able to eliminate 4,400 kg of CO2 during its life in the rainforest. This is the equivalent to the production of more than 8,000 single-use glass spirit bottles.
PENICILLIN’s reforestation work through the One Penicillin, One Tree cocktail initiative. The partnership was launched in conjunction with the ecoSPIRITS and Green Steps Group, which verified proof of planting technology, ensuring reforestation is sustainable and long-lasting.
ecoSPIRITS (eS) is the world’s first closed-loop spirits technology. It is on a mission to eliminate single-use glass bottles along with dramatically reducing carbon impact. Guests will be pleased to know that each PENICILLIN cocktail containing the “eS” logo is saving an average of 150g in CO2 emissions.
Penicillin – Where and how?
The bar is open from Monday to Sunday from 12 pm to 10 pm.
Address: L/G, Amber Lodge, 23 Hollywood Road, Central, Hong Kong
More information can be found on their website www.penicillinbar.com.