With a colourful rum-running past, Nova Scotia has long dabbled in moonshine. Tour and taste handcrafted rum, whiskey, vodka and beer at Authentic Seacoast Distillery on the east shore—Atlantic Canada’s largest distillery at 22,000 square feet. Harbourside Halifax Distilling Company boasts the province’s first female Master Distiller, a rum specialist.
Swanky Park Distillery is the only one of its kind in a North American park, tapping pristine Rockies glacier water. Tour the distillery or just sip vodka, rye and gin in the restaurant/lounge’s rustic-chic Canadiana setting over acclaimed “campfire cuisine.”
Just north of resort town Whistler, Pemberton (AKA Spud Valley) is famed for its picture-perfect family farms, artisan producers and seed potatoes. Tour and taste the world’s only organic potato vodka, gin, absinthe, Schnaps and liqueurs at Pemberton Distillery, plus (grain/fruit) whiskey and brandy, made onsite the traditional way with hand-operated copper pot stills.
It was a Canadian first when boutique Black Fox Farm & Distillery took Best Cask status at the World Gin Awards. At this family-run farmstead outside of Saskatoon, sample the blue ribbon Barrel Aged Vapour Infused Dry Gin, infused with Black Fox rhubarb and flowers. There are also liqueurs and whiskey, if those are more to your liking.
The world has taken note of Newfoundland Distillery—producer of entirely locally-sourced spirits and the first distillery to open in the province in a century. The distillery is making headlines for its new gin made with local seaweed harvested by divers. Also on offer: gin with bakeapple (cloudberry), rhubarb and juniper plucked from the Avalon Peninsula.
Winnipeg is new to artisan distilleries following a recent loosening of restrictions. Capital K, a family-owned gin and vodka maker, debuted its tasting room in 2016 in a gritty industrial neighbourhood. Patent 5, the city’s second distillery, has recently opened in a building built in 1903, within the historic Exchange District.
Eau Claire Distillery in sleepy Turner Valley is the only distillery worldwide still using traditional horse farming (for its special edition rye and single-malt whiskies). Alberta’s first-ever craft operation sources only local grain, too. Learn mixology basics, then reward yourself with a Eau Claire’s new G&T-in-a-can.