While Americans often forget about our neighbors to the north, Canada is seeing nearly as large of a craft spirits boom as the Americas. While the country may have gotten a bad rap for its oftentimes flavorless whiskeys, Canadian spirits are beginning to get noticed in a really good way.
For example, Prince Edward Distillery on Prince Edward Island has created products scoring 90+ points, including the Prince Edward Distillery Gin that was just awarded the same score as Bombay Sapphire (92 points) from the Beverage Testing Institute. They even have a vodka that received a gold medal at the 2009 San Francisco World Spirits Competition.
Prince Edward Distillery is just one of more than 20 distilleries in the country, including Tromba Tequila, 66 Gilead Distillery and Pemberton Distillery. Canada is currently dominated by imports from the large international brands. Canada’s liquor legislations and taxes make it hard for small brands to survive since they make so little per bottle.
While many of Canada’s craft spirits are still sold in shops on the grounds of the distillery, some distillers are starting to expand into U.S. territory. The U.S. market offers independent distillers the opportunity to make more money per bottle. Keep your eyes peeled for some of these products to make it across the border and into a liquor store near you.
From PEI Gin to B.C. vodka: Canada’s craft-spirits boomlet, The Globe and Mail
Two looks at the Canadian craft spirits "boomlet", Toronto Life