22 distilleries raise spirits at BC Distilled festival

Photo courtesy of BC Distilled

Photo courtesy of BC Distilled

Two words: pace yourself.

With 22 distilleries pouring samples of gin, vodka, and other spirits, this is one event you’ll want to arrive and depart by transit.

B.C. Distilled, which returns this year on April 18, is a great opportunity to have a wee taste of what’s in those big bottles before making a commitment. It brings together 22 of the province’s leading makers of locally crafted spirits, along with a handful of artisanal beverage and food purveyors.

Here’s what will be pouring.

BC Distilled | Photo credit: Rick Chung

BC Distilled | Photo credit: Rick Chung

Participating distilleries span the province. From Vancouver Island, for example, Duncan’s Ampersand Distilling Co. makes its gin with organic B.C. wheat.

Victoria’s Fermentorium Distilling Co makes a STUMP Coastal Forest Gin with hand-foraged herbs and botanicals grown in British Columbia. It’s marketed as having a rich, velvety mouth feel and a balanced flavour with the “bright freshness of an old growth forest”.

From the Okanagan, you can try the products from one of the province’s newest operations, Endless Summer Distillery, which opened in 2014. Endless Summer makes its vodka from Northern B.C. wheat. These include a Back Porch Moonshine Apple Pie Vodka and a peach pie version made with natural fruit flavours and colouring.

North of Whistler, Pemberton Distillery is justly famous for its Schramm Organic Potato Vodka. Made from local potatoes, it’s silky smooth.

Bittered Sling cocktail | Photo credit: James Stockhorst

Bittered Sling cocktail | Photo credit: James Stockhorst

From Vancouver, there’s Odd Society Distillery, which makes small batches of spirits, including crème de cassis, out of East Vancouver.

That’s just a taste of the distilleries that will be featured. There are will also be companies like Bittered Sling, which makes hand-crafted bitters for cocktails (above).

You can peruse the full list of exhibitors here.

The event happens downtown at CBC Studios (a hop skip from the Stadium/Chinatown Skytrain station). There’s a choice of two public tastings: from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. or 7 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. Tickets start at $39.99 plus service charge.

Partial proceeds go to the BC Hospitality Foundation, which provides financial support for individuals within the hospitality community who are coping with a financial crisis arising from a health or medical condition.

Follow Carolyn Ali on Twitter @carolynali

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