Alberta’s Palliser region is home to some of the best ingredients in the world, with excellent market access into Alberta’s major cities. Experienced distillers in Alberta and British Columbia are seeking new places to make their spirits.
A small group of local investors would have the means to bring distilling to the town of Bassano. Surrounded by world-class ingredients, available talent, market access, and some local investment dollars, a craft distillery is a real possibility.
There is an opportunity for investors to draw on this existing talent pool of craft distillers to handle the day-to-day operations and ensure their community is known for high quality spirits. If distilling is a passion, three week courses are offered at working distilleries across North America.
There are 24 craft distilleries in Alberta, with nearly 80 in British Columbia. This indicates there is room for about 60 more distilleries in Alberta. Craft distilling is part of a larger trend of consumers seeking locally-produced, high-quality food, beverages, and other consumables. Driven by millennials entering their prime earning years, this trend shows no signs of slowing. Craft distilling is a sustainable way to bring food manufacturing to communities of all sizes.
Enhanced Capital Cost Allowance
$900 Million ins tax deferrals over four years.
Job Creation Tax Cut
Alberta’s corporate tax rate is 11%, which is the lowest in Canada.
By 2020, Alberta’s corporate tax rate will be 8%.
Community Futures Small Business Loans
Community Futures provides customized, affordable loan options for small business owners and entrepreneurs in rural Alberta, ranging from $500 to $150,000.
Medicine Hat College Entrepreneur Development Centre
The Entrepreneur Development Centre helps students and alumni start, manage, and grow successful businesses. We answer your questions and give you the resources you need to succeed.
Craft Distilling in Bassano
Bassano is little more than an hour from Alberta’s largest market: Calgary and it’s 1.3 million thirsty residents. Located on the Trans-Canada Highway and in the middle of the Eastern Irrigation District, which provides water to over 300,000 acres of productive farmland. With access to locally-grown, abundant and high-quality crops, a strong marketplace, and commercial real estate on Canada’s busiest highway, there is a strong business case for a Bassano-based distillery.
$500,000 – $2,000,000 investment amount required
Alberta Craft Distilling Association
If you’re thinking of starting a craft distillery in Alberta, the Alberta Craft Distilling Association should be one of your first calls.
Regulations: Think Fire Code
Alberta Gaming and Liquor is important, but more important are provincial and municipal fire codes. Be sure your proposed facility works closely with your fire department to avoid costly overruns.
Electric vs Steam Distilling
Electric stills are less expensive than steam, but restrict what product you’ll be able to produce. Steam provides potential for a greater product range, including whiskey and other coloured liquor.
What Others are Saying about Craft Distilling
Josh McLafferty, Owner
“Oh my God, there is so much demand locally. I’m getting emails and phone calls from Whistler, Vancouver Island, Comox. They’re all saying they want two cases. Stat.”
Lyndsey Smiley, Owner
“When we secured a space in Canmore there were only three craft distilleries in the province … Now there are 19 [with more in the works]. I am truly hoping we will be able to see collaborations between distilleries.”
Geoff Stewart, Owner
Rig Hand Craft Distillery
“I don’t feel that craft distilleries in Alberta are really competing with one another. There’s enough market out there for everybody to be successful.”
David Farran, President
Eau Clarie Distillery
“There has been a slight cultural change with people drinking less and moving to quality products. This has also helped open the opportunity for producers of premium, craft spirits.”