A guided tour that highlights the recent evolution of the 21 craft and artisan distilleries that have sprung up on Vancouver Island and the Gulf Islands.
In the past five years the number of craft and artisan distilleries on Vancouver Island and the Gulf Islands has more than doubled. A change in the provincial liquor laws in 2013 made small-batch distilling a viable business and with this alternative to high-volume, mass-market liquor comes a focus on local ingredients and distinctive flavours.
From relative veterans like Merridale and Sheringham, to the newest stills on the block, you’ll meet a group of entrepreneurs unbound by traditional liquor-making rules who are creating vodkas, gins, whiskeys, and liqueurs with their own unique characteristics, using a wide range of grains, fruit, botanicals, peat smoke, seaweed, and spices. Craft-spirits enthusiast Marianne Scott introduces readers to the methods distillers use to develop their spirits, how they learned their craft, the products they make, and the recognition they’ve garnered.
With an introduction on the history of spirit making and the process of distilling, a glossary of common distilling terms, cocktail recipes inspired by each distillery’s products, and a map to help you organize your ideal tasting tour, Vancouver Island’s Spirits has everything you need to jump into the region’s burgeoning craft-spirits scene.
Marianne Scott is a writer, sailor, and spirits enthusiast. She has been a freelance journalist for more than thirty years, is a columnist for Pacific Yachting and the author of Naturally Salty—Coastal Characters of the Pacific Northwest. She lives in Victoria, BC, with her husband, David.