AM: I always tell people to have it the way they have it at home. Some people love a gin and tonic, for instance, and I’m not about to tell them to drink our Tempo Renovo Gin straight now – that’s your flavour profile. We’re all about trying to create more craft drinkers by making them ambassadors of our product as they experi- ence it. Stoli and Smirnoff drinkers know what to do with the grain-spirt profile of those brands and we want craft spirit drinkers, G&W drinkers, to take the same liberties. We also want customers to understand that we always want to give them a great product at a very competitive price. If you’re used to spending $25, it’s difficult for me to say you should be drinking BC craft vodka and charge you $50. We’re very aggressive with our pricing, to the point where I think our competitors think we’re a bit nutty. We try to match our pricing to those global brands because we believe that’s the first move to create the movement we’ve envisioned from the beginning. We’re going to give you what we think is the best product on the market and we’re going to give it to you at a fair price. What’s coming up fromG&Wgoing into the holidays, Adam? AM: We actually just launched in BC and Alberta our NÜTRL vodka soda, so we’re really starting to get into the natural- ly flavoured ready-to- drink beverage market now. We also have another offering in this category: Sid’s Something Else. “I always tell people to have it the way they have it at home. Some people love a gin and tonic, for instance, and I’m not about to tell them to drink our Tempo Renovo Gin straight now – that’s your flavour profile.” Sid’s Something Else is our ruby grapefruit and mandarin vodka cooler. It’s also 5%, it’s made with cane sugar, natural flavours and it’s about a third less sugar thanmost coolers. Think cocktail inacan. We’re always trying to think outside of the box. We know our core products are phenomenal but we’re always trying to reach out to every conceivable market. The trick is figuring out the right way to do it in a manner that represents the best of what the industry has to offer. Craft distillers are entrepreneurs and that means pride in what they do – no additives, no ego. With NÜTRL vodka soda we’re literally using our NÜTRL vodka, carbonated water, natural lemon – and that’s it. That’s three ingredients – no sugars at all.

moonshiners understood the importance of copper and the interaction between the spirit vapor itself and the copper.

The copper actually chemically reacts with the spirit itself – it smooths it out. It takes some of the fire off of it, which is what you get with what I would call a cheap spirit. With a cheaper spirit, you get that ‘Ah! Oh my god, I’m on fire!’ feeling; there is a scorching and almost metallic taste and that tells you it didn’t spend a lot of time on copper. That’s where the small batch craft distilling is so great; it’s small batches, spending a lot of time on copper. The name escapes me at the moment, Adam, but I’m curious whether those high-end cocktails served in copper cups are meant to draw out the flavour of your drink in the same way. AM: The copper mugs? You know funny enough, I’ve tried to research that a thousand times as to why a Moscow mule is served in a copper mug and you know, I’d bet that the taste factor was part of it – but no one really seems to know. I’ve heard some interesting stories about it, why ginger beer is used and all that. Someone who once came into the distillery told me that the drink came to be as a result of Prohibition in the US. Apparently back in the day of Prohibition in the 1920s, breweries realized they had all this equipment and nothing to brew so they thought, “You know what, we’re going to go into soda pop production.” What ended up happening was a whole lot of ginger beer production. Part of that was the infiltration of organized crime. Once these breweries were under the influence of organized crime there came to be a kind of mandatory buying policy. Apparently if you were operating a speakeasy and you wanted a certain quantity of whiskey, for example, you’d have to purchase a certain quantity of ginger beer along with it. What ended up happening was a whole lot of ginger beer and soda pop lying around in speakeasies frequented by vodka drinkers. The legend goes that to sell these drinks of necessity, speakeasies gave out copper mugs with our first Moscow mule. I really don’t know if it based in fact, but it’s colourful nonetheless. Do you see mixology sessions being a part of the G&W tour in the future? AM: We are able to get a lounge license, one where you’re able to pour people cocktails and that sort of thing. I think it’s one of those scale issues – a bit of a chicken and egg situation. Do you wait until there’s massive interest in the tours before you have someone in your tasting room who only gives tours and makes drinks, or do you get them and promote the heck out of them? I can say that we’ve got some exciting things coming up for the tasting roomand that a lounge license isdefinitelypart of our future. Do you have any suggestions – or recommendations – for customers trying your spirits for the first time?

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