David Farran Pres. Eau Claire Distillery, Turner Valley & A Revisit to Tofino Food and Wine
For years, a huge percentage of the grains that were grown by farmers in Alberta were shipped to The UK to make Scotch. 80% of all that Scotch was made with Alberta Barley.
The distillers who did make spirits in Alberta , made whisky in bulk.
Then David Farran left his management position at Big Rock Brewing and began the dream of starting Alberta’s first ever craft distillery. Eau Claire was born in Turner Valley South of Calgary.
David partnered with brewer and distiller Larry Kerwin in 2014 to launch the first micro distillery in Alberta, Eau Claire Distillery.
The spirit maker? Caitlin Quinn, Glaswegian and very talented.
Eau Claire can be found in beautiful Turner Valley..on Sunset Blvd. Yup. The old movie theatre and dance hall building built in 1929.
I love the fact that they harvest with Percheron horse teams, trained by The Amish. The only people still harvesting by horse.
Does it make for better spirits? You tell me.
Parlour Gin. Ploughman’s Rye, Cherry Gin, Saskatoon Honey Gin, Dill Pickle Vodka, Three Point Vodka and Alberta’s first single malt whisky.
Prickly Pear equinOx and many more.
They open their Tasting Room first week in June.
Local farmers. Local grains.
“from farm to glass”
Remembering The Tofino Food and Wine Festival (2019)
The Tofino Food and Wine fest was always one of the outstanding events on the calendar.
Sure there were lots of other food and wine gatherings, in ballrooms, basements and convention centres. None of them could match holding a wine festival in a beautiful community garden and a RAINFOREST.
It was organized by Kira Rogers and a wonderful team of volunteers.
We covered the event as part of our Tofino food and craft special.
Months later a press release arrived from Kira cancelling future events.
“For the past 16 years, our experience in working with the British Columbia LCRB has been positive, constructive, helpful and supportive. In 2019, our 17th year producing this well-loved event, our experience was the opposite: obstructive, hostile, intimidating and rude. We felt like an opponent.”
Way to go LCRB.
While we wait for the possible return of this wonderful gathering, I thought I’d offer the interviews we did last year.
Kira Rogers – organizer
Sara Triggs – Culmina Sales and Marketing Manager Culmina.ca
Rob Hammersley – Owner Black Market Wines BlackMarketwine.ca
Chris Smith – Island rep for Way West Wines waywestwines.com
David Gouge – Owner Sea Star Wines. Pender Island seastarvineyards.ca
Paul Gardner – Co-Owner Pentage pentage.com
STORIES WE’RE WORKING ON:
Block Party at The Birth Block Vineyard – a series.
Row 14 at Klippers
Valeria Tait and Ian Sutherland – 2Houses
BC Wine Lovers Cookbook