Distilleries in Victoria and Vancouver Island
Similar to the rise in craft breweries, West Coast distilleries are taking the liquor industry by storm. Resulting from provincial distillery related legislation changes back in 2013, distillers were divided into commercial or craft. Opening the market up to smaller craft-based distillers – those producing less than 50,000 litres of spirits per year, West Coast residents now have plenty of spirits to choose from.
Here are only some of the island’s most notable distilleries.
Roughly 20-minutes west of Sooke, flanked by French Beach and a landmarked lighthouse signalling safety to sailors gone-by, Sheringham is perched overlooking the Juan de Fuca Strait. Boasting small-batch, hand-crafted spirits, the distillery produces Seaside Gin, Akvavit (aquavit), and Vodka. Aside from high-quality spirits, Sheringham places focus on sourcing local products and using sustainable production methods.
Formerly ‘ Victoria Spirits’, Victoria Distillers is a well-worth destination featuring a cocktail lounge within its beautiful waterfront location in Sidney, BC. Their logo, a grid of nine dots, represents the 9 categories of spirits and the resulting limitless nature of cocktail creation. Producing Victoria Gin, Left Coast Hemp Vodka, Rum, and Craigdarroch Whisky to name a few, most notable is The Empress Gin with its purple hue and it’s very own URL.
Requiring roughly 3-years to age Canadian-made whiskey, Stillhead Distillery, having opened its doors in 2017, will soon add whiskey to its menu. Family operated, Brennan Colebank left 13-years of the computer industry to pursue his distillery dream. Currently offering award-winning vodka, gin, and wild blackberry infused vodka, Stillhead will soon release Krisch (clear cherry brandy), and aged apple brandy.
Campbell River, BC
A 380 acre, seaside farm, the spirits of Shelter Point are infused with, among other things, naturally filtered water and crisp sea air. Using Scottish distilling methods, and barley that is grown on-site, Shelter Point places emphasis on quality over quantity – it’s Single Malt Whisky, a gold medal recipient at the World Whisky Masters in London England. With a knack for patience, Shelter Point produces whisky, vodka, gin, and sunshine liqueur.
Salt Spring Island, BC
Fermented with honey, the spirits of Salt Spring Shine, infused with fruit and organic botanicals, evoke distinct and beautiful flavours. Run by Cordon Bleu Chefs and former restaurant owners, Salt Spring Shine works to source local ingredients and botanicals from around the world. Menu highlights include, Hive Vodka, Sting Gin, Apple Pie Moonshine, and Honeycomb Moonshine.
Additional Distilleries to Try:
Ampersand Distilling |Duncan
DeVine Spirits | Saanichton
Island Spirits | Hornby Island
Fermentorium Distilling Co | Victoria
Merridale Craft Spirits | Cobble Hill
Moon Brewery & Distillery | Victoria
Victoria Caledonian Brewery and Distillery | Victoria
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