Okanagan Spirits Craft Distillery was the first farm-to-flask distillery in North America since prohibition. Founded in 2004, it’s also North America’s only world-class-rated distillery.
Similar to wines, craft spirits taste unique as they are infused with local agricultural flavours.
“Our raison d’être is really grabbing that expression of local, and that terroir-driven experience,” said Tyler Dyck, Okanagan Spirits’ CEO. “That’s why we grow all of our own grains in the Okanagan Valley. All the fruit is grown here too. We’re a four-generation family in the Okanagan and we feel our story to tell is the story that’s all around us.”
Tallest Copper Pot Still in North America
At Okanagan Spirits locations in Kelowna and Vernon, you can see the craftsmanship that goes into creating distinct, award-winning drinks. Their flagship Vernon distillery is home to North America’s tallest copper pot still. They offer tours of the 1930s-style production facility. Both distilleries offer tastings.
People generally don’t know how spirits are made, said Dyck. In total, Okanagan Spirits crushes about 750,000 pounds of fruit and mills 250 tons of grain every year, then makes fruit or grain wine out of it. The wine gets distilled down into a spirit as they concentrate the flavour.
Theatre of Distilling at Okanagan Spirits
“We want to invite people into our facility so they can experience the theatre and the aromas that are coming off the production site,” Dyck said. “They can see the steam coming off, the spirits coming off the still. If they’re at our main distillery in Vernon, they can see the grain getting milled, or the fruit getting crushed.”
Okanagan Spirits makes 36 different spirits, ranging from whiskies, gins and vodkas to fruit liqueurs and brandies, aquavit and even Taboo Genuine Absinthe.
Okanagan Spirits was named Distillery of the Year at the 2020 World Spirits Awards, with a total of nine gold medals, four silver medals and one bronze medal.
Find more information at okanaganspirits.com.