When Adam McDonnell, the Managing Director of Canada’s bestselling and fastest- growing craft distillery, spoke with Spotlight on Business over the summer, he made one thing clear almost right away: “We’re on a mission to help grow the category of locally- made Canadian spirits, coast-to- coast and beyond.” Part of that mission, Adam explained, is educating the consumer. “Most of the big spirit brands you find in liquor stores across the country are made in massive factories with very little crafting involved. Even a lot of the so-called craft brands you’ll find out on the market are nothing more than one-time, contract- made products that follow, more or less, the same factorymodel.” Goodridge&Williams Distilling in Delta, British Columbia crafts and bottles each and every one of their eight products in-house and “in a real distillery,” he said. “We’re authentic and we’re world-class and we do it all while investing in Canada – unlike the big international companies. The success of the craft beer scene in Canada has proven that consumers want to buy local, they want to spend their money on well-made and locally-sourced Canadian brands. But there’s still work to do. We need to level the provincial liquor playing fields in every province for distillers and I’d like to think that we’ve taken some big steps in that direction.” One of those big steps was taking home a silver medal at the 2017 International Wine and Spirit Competition. In a competitive field that included spirits from more than 65 countries, G&W’s Nutrl Vodka emerged as the only artisan vodka from Canada to win an award that year. But I was surprised when I mentioned the Distillery’s laurels to Adam. He deflected my journalistic praise with, and please forgive the pun, such genuine spirit. “Anytime people cheer our spirits it’s like they’re cheering for Team Canada and that reinforces on an international stage that we have awesome stuff at home – and that’s good for all Canadian distillers in so many ways.”
By David MacDonald A dam, it’s well-known in the Canadian craft distilling industry that the provincial government in BC really set the standard in Canada – and arguably in the world – when it established the requirements for official “Craft” designation four years ago. How did G & W come onto the scene in all this?
OCTOBER 2017 • SPOTLIGHT ON BUSINESS MAGAZINE
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