What is a 'CRAFT' distillery?
The word "craft" gets thrown around a lot in the world of distilling, whether it be a descriptor of a distillery or a category on a bar menu. But did you know that in British Columbia, being a 'craft' distillery is actually a very specific designation that ensures you are supporting local producers and BC farmers and suppliers?
Per the Craft Distillers Guild of BC -
In 2013, the BC Provincial Government established 2 categories of distilleries in BC: “Commercial” and “Craft”. Commercial distilleries can be distilleries of any size and they can use anything to distill from including Neutral Grain Spirit (NGS) – this is alcohol that is distilled by large scale distilleries primarily from corn and sold to other users and it is a finished product itself. To achieve the Craft designation from the Provincial Government a BC distillery must produce no more than 50,000 litres of spirit per year (while this seems like a lot, a large distillery can produce 2 to 3 times this in one day), the distillery must use 100% BC agricultural products to produce the alcohol from fermentation and fermentation must be completed onsite at the Distillery. This move by the BC Government set the definition of a “Craft” distillery in BC at the highest level of any jurisdiction in North America and likely even the world. While this will force Distillers that want to take advantage of the “Craft” designation to be creative and innovative in their search for raw materials around BC, it will also ensure that Craft has a strong meaning among BC Craft distilleries and it will help support BC’s diverse agriculture industry.
In supporting micro-distilleries like us, you are investing in a homegrown product that sources from BC farmers, employs BC residents, and maintains a high level of innovation and creativity in the art of creating spirits to make it happen. Here at DEVINE we try to take this approach to all of our raw materials trying to find, and often paying more, for packaging and supplies that are as close to home as possible.
We sometimes get asked why our craft products are more expensive than the big brands. While local ingredients may be closer, they are very rarely cheaper than the raw materials we could source from around the world. Large-scale commercial distilleries also have the benefit of purchasing in bulk which brings down their costs considerably. At DEVINE, we always strive to keep our pricing model as approachable as possible, but we also believe that the investment you make in our spirits is a testament to their quality.
Making small batches of spirits allows our team to be nimble and creative. Our Head Distiller gets inspired by locally available ingredients to create new product styles and finishes, which often end up being new favourites of our fans. Virtually none of our processes are automated, which means a real person is handling the bottle you bring home at almost every step of production to make sure it is perfect!
Look for this seal (you'll find it on every one of DEVINE's spirits) to ensure you're supporting local craft distilleries, who in turn support local, like us!