AM: Well the name Goodridge&Williams stems from the founders – that’s Stephen Goodridge and his wife Judy Williams. So, in 2013, when the government decided to create this craft distilling industry, he and his wife were one of the first pair to join that trend. So that’s really where the name comes from. Stephen has been a brewer and a distiller by trade for more than 25-years and he’s crafted beer and spirits for some of the best microbrew- eries in Vancouver. “Stephen has been a brewer and a distiller by trade for more than 25-years and he’s crafted beer and spirits for some of the best microbreweries in Vancouver.” As far as the provincial standards go, we stick to the guide- lines for BC craft products and use only local ingredients. But we decided pretty early on that the locally-grown, over- the-counter operation model wasn’t going to be enough to get everyone talking about Canadian craft spirits the way we had envisioned. We knew we were going to have to be a commercial-level distillery to be truly competitive in the market place outside of Delta and the Greater Vancouver Area. That involved us taking-on a much higher tax burden than the other small craft distilleries, those who sell private-
ly over-the- counter. We felt the only way we could grow was to have the provincial liquor board as our partner and to do that we had to change our tax structure.
Right now, there are two categories in the distilling industry: “Commercial” and “Craft.”
If you’re a BC “Craft” distillery, you’re very restricted in the ingredients you can use, the amount you can distill, and the distribution channels you can use to get away from the mark-up. We’ve decided, even though we produce a very small amount of spirit in the grand scheme of things, to go right up against and to be taxed the same as the international spirit producers – who have very few people in Canada. Here we are a small company trying to get a foothold in the industry while trying to get more people involved. We’re going up against these global brands with global economies of scale. How would you like to see the current system modified? AM: What we really need to see in Canada is the same sort of playing field that’s been groomed for brewers and vintners, a graduated system. Even though we may sell more than 5000 cases, we’re not to the scale and economy that says Johnny Walker is.
There are more than 150 craft brewers in BC. Do you know how many people that employs, not including the trick-
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