Eau Claire Distillery Founders
From drinks executive to diplomat, adventure travel outfitter to creator of Canada’s largest chain of veterinary clinics, David Farran pioneers.
His passion for Eau Claire began with a sincere belief that Alberta’s world class agricultural bounty should be the home to a strong distilling industry. When we ship our grain worldwide for spirits production, it seemed extraordinary that Alberta didn’t have a craft distillery producing local, handcrafted spirits. Combined with deep historical roots in Alberta farming and ranching, David’s hobby of farming with draft horses seemed to be a perfect combination – thus Eau Claire was born with an immediate pedigree – a true farm-to-glass, certified farm distillery, where grain was produced using 100 year old horse farming methods – a first in North America.
David’s storied career gave him a special skill set to support the founding of Alberta’s first craft distillery. As a former Vice President of Big Rock Brewery, a Canadian born British Diplomat, a packager of international adventure travel, and a well respected leader in North America’s veterinary industry, David’s awards and accolades include Ernst & Young’s Entrepreneur of the Year, Canada’s 50 Best Managed Companies, Alberta’s 50 most influential people and many others.
David’s entrepreneurial zeal is evident in Eau Claire’s pioneering and purist take on the Alberta remake of craft distilling. As Founder and President of Alberta’s first craft distillery, David connects a love for agriculture, a deep understanding of craft artisanal spirits and a conviction that Alberta should be the home of ‘best in class’ distilled products.
Originally from Saskatchewan, Larry Kerwin aspired to be a wildlife biologist, telling of his early appreciation for natural wonders through science.
Larry participated in the first study of the endangered Sage Grouse in Southern Saskatchewan. Larry holds a Master of Science degree, and is designated as a Master Brewer with The Institute of Brewing & Distilling. He is a Lifetime Member of the Master Brewers Association of the America and an Active Member of the American Society of Brewing Chemists. As Distiller, Larry’s education and experience in the brewing profession dates back to 1971 with increasingly senior posts in with Carling-O’Keefe, Foster’s Brewing Group, Molson Breweries, Big Rock Brewery, Village Brewery and Sapporo/Sleeman.
Larry’s Distiller accreditation was awarded in 1976. One of Canada’s most experienced and respected hands-on authorities in the drinks profession, Larry is excited to play a key role in building Alberta’s first Craft distillery, Eau Claire, as Master Distiller.
Born in Winnipeg and raised in Scotland, Caitlin Quinn has her Master’s in Brewing and Distilling from Heriot-Watt University in Edinburgh.
Caitlin is Eau Claire Distillery’s Master Distiller. Completing a degree in Chemistry, Caitlin enrolled in the brewing and distilling program after realizing that the life of a chemist wasn’t for her, but thankfully for us, life as a Distiller was! She moved to Calgary in 2015 to be a part of the Eau Claire team. Caitlin has a unique talent of bridging the art and science of distilling. Working with Larry Kerwin and his depth of industry experience, the two make an incredible team. Caitlin manages a team of distiller assistants and in her time at Eau Claire has distillation of Eau Claire Distillery’s award-winning Parlour Gin, Prickly pear EquineOx and Three Point Vodka. She also helped in the making of Eau Claire’s recently released, and Alberta’s first, Single Malt Whisky. Caitlin has also created a number of limited edition distiller series including Christmas Gin, Cherry Gin, Apple Brandy and Dill Pickle Vodka and assisted in the launch of Eau Claire Distillery’s sister company Eau Claire Soda Company an the launch of their inaugural handcrafted and artisanal tonics, including Original and Elderflower tonic.