Since Alberta has minimal taxation on liquor imports, the province has the best selection of wine, beer and spirits in the entire country. As such, even the most basic of corner store liquor stores will usually have a better gin selection than a government-run one in our fellow prairie provinces. Now, that’s something to be proud of!
One thing we don’t find too readily in liquor stores, though, is a healthy selection of B.C. micro-distilled spirits, plenty of which end up being so popular in their own province that they never quite make it across the border. Such was the case for Phillips Fermentorium’s Stump Coastal Forest Gin, until today. An off-shoot of the well-known craft brewery, Phillips Brewing and Malting Co., the company’s “fermentorium” has been producing this unique gin for two years now.
Brimming with botanicals like grand fir, lavender, cascade hops and bay laurel along with usual suspects, juniper and coriander — all of which are grown on Vancouver Island — the spirit’s base is made with 80% island-grown grain, staying true to Phillips’ locally minded production as a whole.
Jesse Willis, owner and operator of Vine Arts and cocktail hot spot Proof, made it his mission to get the gin into Alberta.
“This is one of my favourite Canadian craft gins on the market and I’m elated that they’ve finally brought it here,” says Willis. “I think they’ve really managed to capture the spirit of the west coast with their blend of locally foraged botanicals, and I love the fresh pine notes that help set this apart from other gins on the market. I also appreciate that they are controlling every step of the process from beginning to end, including using barley malted in-house and distilling their own base spirit — unlike some distilleries who purchase bulk neutral spirit for their gin.”
He goes on to note that the fragrant, but approachable gin works well in a variety of drinks like gin and tonic (naturally), negronis or a classic martini.
If you’re a true gin fantatic (who isn’t, really?) and need to try this beautiful craft gin right this second, you’ll only be able to findit for sale at Vine Arts two locations (1310 1 St S.W. and 932 17 Ave S.W.), but should be available at other quality liquor stores around Calgary by the end of the week. As well, Proof is featuring two cocktails — a gimlet and “In The Pines,” a more herbacious option using vermouth and amaro.