Craft distilling is kind of a big deal.
It has become a burgeoning industry in Vancouver over the past few years, and while this area may be known for its numerous microbreweries, the consumer demand for artisan spirits has become stronger with time and there are batch distilleries all over the province to prove it.
Here are 14 distilleries in Metro Vancouver (and a couple slightly further afield) where you can head to enjoy the craftsmanship and unique flavours of locally-made spirits.
Known for: London Dry Gin
The distillery: Long Table is Vancouver’s first micro-distillery and it has been making small-batch, handcrafted spirits since 2013. This distillery combines 100% Canadian grain-based alcohol, locally foraged botanicals, and natural ingredients to make vodka, gin, and seasonal spirits in the 300-litre copper pot in the middle of the micro-distillery. You can purchase the full lineup of Long Table’s products at the retail store inside the distillery.
The tasting room: Long Table has an industrial-style tasting room that offers drink service on ‘Gin & Tonic Fridays’ and ‘Craft Cocktail Saturdays’. This distillery serves up ever-changing custom libations and a selection of food options at the tasting room’s 14-foot Redwood Sequoia slab table. This tasting room is open Wednesday and Thursday from 1 to 6pm, Friday from 1 to 9pm (Gin & Tonic Fridays start at 4pm), and Saturday from 1 to 9pm (cocktails served starting at 3 pm).
Address: 1451 Hornby Street, Vancouver
Known for: Endeavour Pink Gin
The distillery: The Liberty Distillery ferments and distills its spirits onsite following traditional processes and recipes. The batches are made using a triple distillation process in handmade copper stills. Liberty Distillery’s stills allow for whiskey distillation along with the production of vodka, gin, and a selection of other spirits. The Liberty’s products can be purchased at the retail store onsite and at various locations across the province.
The tasting room: Head to the 110 year-old distillery bar and sip on a signature cocktail from The Liberty, open at 11am seven days a week, and offering a happy hour Monday to Thursday from 3 to 6pm.
Known for: Creme de Cassis (sweet, dark red liqueur), East Van Vodka
The distillery: Odd Society Spirits’ distillery is a East Van neighbourhood haunt. This distillery is a pioneer in its industry as it was one of the first distilleries in Vancouver to create gin, vodka, and whiskey by combining old traditions with fresh ingredients. With a diverse selection of unique spirits and an emphasis on unleashing your inner “oddness”, this distillery offers great selection of products.
The tasting room: Patrons have a full view of the distillery when they are enjoying a cocktail in Odd Society’s tasting lounge. Tasting lounge hours are Thursday from 1 to 7pm, Friday and Saturday from 1 to 11pm, and Sunday from 1 to 6pm.
Address: 1725 Powell Street, Vancouver
Known for: Osake Junmai Nama
The distillery: Located on Granville Island, Artisan SakeMaker was Canada’s first sake winery and has been around since 2007. The distillery produces handmade small-batch fermented sake made from top-of-the-line Japanese Junmai rice and pressed and bottled by hand. Osake is premium sake made from all natural and local ingredients from the sakemaker Masa Shiroki’s own rice winery. Shiroki makes sake batches several times a year, and all products can be purchased at Artisan SakeMaker’s production facility on Granville Island. Visitors can book group tours at SakeMaker by calling ahead.
The tasting room: The tasting counters are Artisan SakeMaker are open between 11:30am and 6pm daily. Visitors can try a single tasting for $2 or try three kinds of sake for $5.
Address: 1339 Railspur Alley, Granville Island, Vancouver
Known for: Yaletown Vodka
The distillery: After making quality beer for nearly 20 years, Yaletown Brewing Company launched its distilling venture – Yaletown Distilling Company. The company now makes a gin and a vodka made with BC-grown ingredients in its Bavarian-made still in the heart of Vancouver.
The tasting room: Located in the historic Soho Building, The Yaletown Distillery Bar serves patrons quality spirits Tuesday to Thursday from 12 to 5pm, and Friday and Saturday from 12:30 to 8pm.
Address: 1131 Mainland Street, Vancouver
Known for: Deep Cove Vodka
The distillery: Deep Cove Brewers and Distiller was initially known for its brewing, but the local business also produces a variety of artisan spirits. Deep Cove distills gin and vodka in small batches, each spirit has its own exciting taste profile made from local ingredients.
The tasting room: Deep Cove’s tasting room is open Monday to Thursday from noon to 11 pm, Friday and Saturday from noon to midnight, and Sunday from noon to 10 pm.
Address: Unit 170 – 2270 Dollarton Highway, North Vancouver
Facebook: Deep Cove Brewing & Distilling
Known for: Chili Vodka (infused with Thai Dragon chilies)
The distillery: Sons of Vancouver Distillery makes really, really small batch spirits on Vancouver’s North Shore. By creating amaretto, vodka, and for the brave (and those who love a spicy Caesar) – chili vodka using traditional methods and local BC grains, Sons has a great starting lineup of products as well as some must-try craft cocktails recipes.
The tasting room: The Sons of Vancouver tasting room is open Saturday and Sunday from 1 to 7 pm.
Known for: XFour Rye, XFour Corn Vodka
The distillery: Founded in 2005, XFour Vodka produces a line of four times distilled, quality spirits made with natural ingredients that contain no preservatives, glycerines or emulsifiers. XFour has a wide range of products including some specialty beverages such as Chocolate Cocktail and Percy’s Old Fashioned Lemonade, made from old family recipes.
The tasting room: XFour does not have a tasting room.
Known for: Seraph Vodka, Queensborough Gin, Spirit of Merlot (grape brandy)
The distillery: Central City Brewers & Distillers is recognized as one of the best in its industry in Vancouver. This distillery uses locally-sourced ingredients to make quality spirits in its three German-made Holstein Stills. You can purchase Central City’s full line of products in its retail store or at various other locations across Canada.
The tasting room: Central City offers pre-booked weekend tours of its 65,000 square foot facility, running Saturday and Sunday at 1pm, 3pm, and 5pm. Central City also has two brewpubs where you can head to enjoy a craft cocktail with gin or vodka, or sip on one of the label’s craft beers. One is at 871 Beatty Street in Vancouver and the other at 13450 102nd Avenue in Surrey. Both locations are open Sunday to Thursday from 11 am to midnight, and Friday and Saturday from 11 to 1 am.
Known for: Dragon Mist Vodka, Dragon Mist Baijiu (Chinese spirit)
The distillery: Dragon Mist Distillery makes quality spirits made with local BC ingredients including some west coast botanicals to impart the delicate gin flavour and aroma. This distillery makes craft vodka, gin, baijiu, and liqueurs. Dragon Mist spirits are gluten free and are available in many locations across the province including retail stores and many farmers’ markets.
The tasting room: Dragon Mist Distillery does not have a tasting room.
Address: 213-19138 26th Avenue, Surrey
Known for: Sid’s Handcrafted Vodka, SILVERDAWN Vodka
The distillery: Goodridge & Williams makes multiple lines of spirits under its umbrella label, all made with locally-sourced ingredients. These products include Sid’s Handcrafted Vodka, Mapleshade Reposé, SILVERDAWN Vodka, Tempo Renovo Gin, NÜTRL Vodka, and BITTERHOUSE aperitifs. You can find Goodridge & William’s products at most BC Liquor Stores.
The tasting room: Goodridge & Williams Distillers does not have a tasting room.
Address: #8 – 7167 Vantage Way, Delta
Known for: Sin Gin, Lemoncello
The distillery: Gillespie’s Fine Spirits crafts a wide range of quality products like gin, vodka, and liqueurs using local ingredients and small-batch stilling. Gillespie’s labels are just as colourful and exciting as the flavours in the spirits, which you can buy at select private liquor stores and online (although the website is currently under construction). This distillery will be producing whiskey and brandy in the future.
The tasting room: Gillespie’s tasting room in Squamish serves quality craft cocktails Thursday to Sunday from 1 to 6 pm.
Address: 8 – 38918 Progress Way, Squamish
Known for: Schramm Organic Vodka (the world’s only organic potato vodka)
The distillery: Pemberton Distillery stills the famous Pemberton potato into the world’s only organic potato vodka, gin, absinthe, schnaps and liqueurs. The distillery also produces organic whiskey and brandy in traditional hand-operated copper pot stills using locally grown grains and fruits. You can purchase Pemberton’s products online or at a variety of retailers in southern BC.
The tasting room: Pemberton Distillery has a tasting room, but the opening hours depend on the season. Guided tours are scheduled Saturdays at 4 pm during the winter and include an organic spirits tasting. Check out the distillery’s calendar to see the dates the tours are happening.
Address: 1954 Venture Place, Pemberton