De Vine Spirits. Byron Smith/Tank Five photo.
Spirits were high at the fifth annual BC Distilled festival at the Croatian Cultural Centre in Vancouver on April 14, which brought together 40 artisan distilleries from around the province, including a dozen new distilleries that have opened in the last year.
Created to celebrate and highlight B.C.’s vibrant distilling community, the festival is the largest spirits event in Canada reserved exclusively for local distilleries.
The festival raised nearly $6,000 for the Pacific Assistance Dogs Society (PADS) through a silent auction, 50/50 draw, and a portion of ticket sales. “For a distillery event, it’s fun that one of the most frequently mentioned positive aspects in our post-event survey is the presence of (PADS) dogs,” BC Distilled founder Alex Hamer said in a press release. PADS breeds, raises, trains and supports certified assistance dogs for people living with disabilities and for community care professionals.
The audience favourite awards have also been announced:
- Amaro or Vermouth (Italian-style bitter liqueurs): The Woods Spirit Co. – The Woods Amaro
- Apéritif or Digestif: Sheringham Distillery – Sheringham Akvavit (winner, 2017)
- Brandy or Eau de Vie: Maple Leaf Spirits Inc. – Lady of the Cask
- Barrel-aged Gin (Gin which has spent time aging in a wood barrel): The Dubh Glas Distillery – Noteworthy Gin – Barrel Rested
- Flavoured or Infused Vodka – Sons of Vancouver Distillery – Chili Vodka (winner, 2016, 2017)
- Liqueur: Monashee Spirits Craft Distillery – Big Mountain Creamer
- Gin: Ampersand Distilling Company – Ampersand Gin (winner, 2016, 2017)
- Other White Spirit: Salt Spring Shine – Apple Pie Moonshine
- Rum (not strictly sugar cane rum): Wayward Distillation House – Drunken Hive Rum
- Vodka (three-way tie): Ampersand Distilling Company – Per Se Vodka (winner, 2016, 2017); Salt Spring Shine – Hive Vodka; Sons of Vancouver Distillery – Vodka Vodka Vodka
- Whisky: Odd Society Spirits – Single Malt Whisky
- Young “Whisky” (whisky-style spirits which have spent less than three years in a barrel): De Vine Wines & Spirits – Ancient Grains
Scroll through the photos to meet some of the vendors from the 2018 event!