real upswing in craft ryes coming out of this country in the near future.
Now what I find across Canada with craft distilling is we’re starting to see great vodkas and gins. Craft distilling is really allowing us to branch out and try new things and I know other distilleries are just as imaginative. The Canadian craft spirit is getting a toe-hold in the Canadian market and somewhat in the international market. “Now what I find across Canada with craft distilling is we’re starting to see great vodkas and gins.” I’ve got to admit that when the G&W assignment came across my desk I had a moment where I thought I was dealing with a longstanding brand. There is something about the name Goodridge & Williams that gives the impression of a time-honoured distillery. AM: You know, we agree; it sounds very established. But that’s not where the name story ends. Our most popular product, Sid’s Handcrafted Vodka stems from Stephen as well. His father gave him the nickname Sid as a kid and the brand is near and dear to his heart. I think like any new entrepreneurs, Stephen and Judy poured their blood, sweat, and tears – that sort of thing – into their business. There is a lot of pride in the name of the distillery and what the products represent. When a customer comes into the Distillery on Vantage Way in Delta for a tour, what can they expect? AM: Our operation is on a smaller scale than the typical mid-size craft brewery but we have a larger output – so we can probably do a little bit more and leave a slightly smaller footprint. We have two stills, one 2500 litre and one 750 litre. Much of the initial production is similar to brewing but it’s what you do with that fermented product after the fact that really makes the difference between a spirit and a lager, for instance. We ferment; we get that mash going; and we pull the mash into the main kettle. (For all intents and purposes you’re cooking, boiling, and vaporizing it). We’ve got a 38-plate column reflux-style still, so picture the contents of a big kettle moving from the kettle into two very tall copper towers with 19 little windows in it. Each one of those little windows lets you follow the distillation process. The spirit is heated, it climbs to the next window, and it does that 38 times. With these stills, you experience the true magic and the real difference between small batch craft distilling and the large, global brands.
With smaller batches, the amount of time that the spirit is actually spending on the copper is much longer. The old
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