David, our founder, drives a team for our barley harvest
With attention to detail, best-in-class ingredients and artisanal distilling methods, we can ensure that our whiskies, gins and vodkas reveal flavours and taste unparalleled.
Global Heritage, Local Flavour
Ancient techniques and modern creativity unite here to produce unique and premium distilled products. Deploying the finest custom-crafted German stills and technology, Eau Claire hand hones each batch of its spirits.
First we source our grain, choosing ingredients for each product according to strict criteria developed by our distiller Larry Kerwin. Thankfully, our Alberta location gives us the ability to source the best ingredients in the world, right here at home. Wherever we can, we purchase direct from the farmer or we contract farmers to grow specific grain varietals and quality levels. Much like wine, where vintners have known for years that different microclimates and soil conditions create different flavours, Eau Claire is one of the first to source grain according to ‘terroir’. Rather than treat the grain as a commodity, Eau Claire carefully analyzes it to create the unique flavours it is looking for. So your Eau Claire small batch whisky, like a fine wine, will vary slightly from year to year, as the flavour of the grain correlates to the terroir of the farm.
Our priority is local, wherever possible
We then grind our grain and mash it in the distillery, readying the grain for fermentation. Each product has a specific fermentation criteria and a yeast used for generating desired flavour notes. Once it is fermented, we put it through our still, carefully managing a process which varies from recipe to recipe. In some cases, such as with gin, we will add botanicals to the still for flavour. Our gin is one of very few in the world which is actually a ‘distilled’ gin, which means that we distill in with the botanicals in an extra step, to ensure that the flavours marry and balance together.
The distilled product will then be put through our rectifying columns to further purify and exact flavours to specific recipe criteria.
We take only the best alcohol, or hearts, from the distillation process – ensuring that our flavour is maximized, reflecting the quality of the grains we have used.
When distillation is complete, it is time for bottling. We hand bottle our product, seal it and send it to our select retail network for sale. When we talk about hand crafted, we mean it, inherently, with every step of the process.
What makes Eau Claire Distillery unique?
Farm to Glass
Eau Claire Distillery crafts our spirits from Alberta barley.
Certified Farm Distillery
A unique designation which refers to our own farming operation, much like an estate winery.
Our farming operation includes traditional horse farming for special edition rye and single malt whiskies – unique in the world.
Our spirits are certified a craft by the American Craft Distilling Institute, which means they are handcrafted in small batches in a single distillery.