Angel’s Envy’s eighth annual initiative to plant oak trees during the month of September
By Sarah Levitch
Photos provided by Angel’s Envy
Raise a glass, take a photo and plant a tree! For the month of September, Angel’s Envy is hosting its annual Toast the Trees initiative. Starting in 2014 as a humble effort towards sustainability and putting back the resources used in the process of aging bourbon, Toast the Trees soon exceeded expectations and sparked excitement in the spirits industry. Co-Founder of Angel’s Envy, Wes Henderson, stated, “When we started the program, we never imagined we would be able to plant as many trees as we have. We didn’t grasp the enormity of what we’d be able to do and how it would be embraced by the bartending community, industry partners, restaurant partners and our distribution partners.”
During the month of September, for every social media post of a drink, bottle or celebration with a #ToastTheTrees, Angel’s Envy will plant one oak tree. Henderson encourages participants to get creative and have fun with it! In their eight years, Angel’s Envy has planted over 130,000 trees, which is more trees than they have used for barrels. Henderson added, “Normally, I’m not speechless about anything, but I’m really humbled and honored about how the team has made this program come to life and how significant it is to Angel’s Envy and the industry.”
To plant the trees, the Angel’s Envy team will come together to plant a few, but their partners, Arbor Day Foundation and Green Forests Work, help do a bulk of the planting as well as finding places to plant trees. Henderson noted that, “the majority of the trees have been planted in the Appalachian mountains. Much of that is reclaimed land from coal strip mining. I also plant a couple of the trees in my yard because I like to see how much they grow each year.”
Looking towards the future, Henderson will continue to let Toast the Trees grow organically, with hopes to find new areas to plant the trees. He said, “I would like to see us look at different places and opportunities to plant trees, like in areas where there is deforestation. I’d like to expand to some other areas that have been impacted by forest fires too and do a deeper dive in the strategy behind specific locations to plant trees.”
In 2020, Angel’s Envy set a goal of 50,000 trees, which was met and exceeded despite most bars and restaurants being closed. As things open up more in 2021, the Angel’s Envy team is setting a goal of 65,000 trees.
Whether you’re at home enjoying a bourbon after a long day, out for dinner sipping wine with a loved one, drinking a cocktail with a friend at a bar or celebrating a special occasion with a glass of champagne, raise your glass, post a photo and #ToastTheTrees!
Angel’s Envy Distillery
500 E Main St.
Louisville, KY 40202