Victoria’s craft spirit scene is booming and hosts some of British Columbia’s finest small, handcrafted batches of premium liquor. “The number of local distilleries has exploded in recent years as changes to BC liquor laws have allowed small and medium sized distillers to set-up shop and sell their products directly from the distillery in on-site lounges and tasting rooms, (source).” As the building blocks of a fantastic cocktail, spirits are the backbone that bartenders and fanatics alike rely upon to make the perfect drink. “As opposed to huge corporations like the Beam Inc. from the US (Maker’s Mark, Jim Beam, Canadian Club) or Diageo from the UK (Smirnoff, Ketel One, Crown Royal), craft distilleries produce small runs of artisanal spirits with their own unique flavours, (source).” Craft distillery allows small companies to be hands on, taste test along the way and adjust these batches according to the standards of the master distiller. With distilleries dotted around the city there is definitely a spirit for everyone to enjoy and also visit to get the entire unique experience.
Victoria Spirits/Distillers: This distillery is most famous for its gluten-free Victoria Gin which is made in small batches here on Vancouver Island. With excellent reviews from the National Post and Globe & Mail, this gin is a favourite around town. Peter, the owner of Victoria Spirits, uses a German-made copper pot(200 L) and painstakingly selects the best botanicals to be brewed with pure spring water. This gin combines the “balance of the characteristic evergreen flavour of juniper with notes of citrus, floral, and spice, (source).” “Victoria Spirits,” evolved into being renamed “Victoria Distillers,” as the company chose to take on a larger space and also highlight the distillery as a destination. “It maximizes the opportunity to involve the local community and visitors in the experience of creating artisan spirits. The project creates a regional focal point at a site that is unmatched anywhere in the province, in terms of both its natural setting and environmental sustainability, (source).”
DeVine: This vineyard also doubles as a full-equipped distillery. Located on the Saanich Peninsula the location is breathtaking as it features rolling vineyards and a view of Mount Baker. This spot is an “iconic family Winery and Distillery, producing award-winning wines and spirits from local grapes, grain, fruit and honey, (source).” With a beautiful tasting room and offering of gin, fruit brandy, honey rum and bittersweet Vermouth this is a spot that can’t be missed.
Along with being home to a variety of distilleries, Victoria loves to throw a good spirits festival. From the Victoria Whiskey festival to the Art of the Cocktail the combinations are endless. Interested in what Victoria has to offer? Contact me at http://www.stephenfoster.ca/contact.php