A small, homegrown distillery in Turner Valley is putting Alberta on the map for spirit production.
The Eau Claire Distillery opened just three years ago as the first craft distillery in Alberta, and since that time their creations have won a number of prestigious awards.
David Farran, Owner of Eau Claire Distillery, says after getting world wide recognition in 2016, the distillery continues to grow.
"We won a silver medal at the San Francisco World Spirits Competition, which are considered the most prestigious," he says. "We've built on that this year and we've won another award at San Francisco, and I think what's most exciting for us is that we won Best in Class, and the Consumer Taste Awards for the SIP awards in the United States. It's a blind testing of 1800 consumers across the States which all picked our gin as the best."
In 2016 Eau Claire Distillery also won awards at the Berlin International Spirits Competition and the American Distilling Institute Awards.
Farran shares how thrilled he is that a small distillery in Alberta has produced a gin considered one of the best in the world, and believes it's something Alberta can build on as an industry.
"We had seen there were smaller distilleries popping up in the United States, but we thought that the one place that should have a whiskey distillery is Alberta. We make the best barley in the world, and we ship that barley to Scotland so they can make scotch, so we were pretty adamant that of all the places we should be making whiskey, it should be right here in the province."
He shares how proud he is that ingredients locally sourced in Alberta have achieved so much, adding farm to glass is part of the distillery's ethos.
As for what 2017 holds for the distillery, Farran says he hopes to expand their markets, and add to the selection of spirits Eau Claire offers.