Alberta May Finally Have a Craft Distillery
The Bear Hill Brewing Company has secured the necessary licenses to open the first craft distillery in Alberta. They are anticipating adding the homegrown spirits to the cocktail menu during the summer and will start distilling spirits very soon.
On January 11th, the brewery celebrated their first year anniversary and decided it was time to move into the whiskey business. They already have the copper distiller in place and have used it as a beautiful display in the brewpub until now.
They actually started their first batch on February 3rd in the distiller and expect to make some tweaks as they move forward. They have already made over 300 litres of spirits, but have yet to find the recipe they prefer.
The Wood Buffalo location is the third location of the Bear Hill brewpubs. The other two are found in Banff and Jasper. The owner stated that they are still in the early stages, but plan to offer moonshine, gin and a scotch whiskey in the near future.
No other craft distilleries in Alberta have been given the licensing necessary to start making liquor. The province has strict liquor and gaming laws, which make it hard for smaller productions to get the necessary licensing. These laws were put in place to ensure people don't make moonshine in their homes.
Just like the beers they brew, the spirits will be named by the community, once perfected. They let the community vote on the names of the beers and they will do the same for the spirits.
The company also expects to open the Last Best Brewing and Distilling Company in Calgary in September of 2014. This will be another expansion of their company and will offer plenty of great choices to that community, as well.