Craft Spirit Festival brings together Vancouver’s Distilleries

By / Wine + Drinks / October 31st, 2018 / 10
Craft Spirit Festival

On November 3, Vancouver Island’s distilleries will gather at Merridale Cidery & Distillery to celebrate island-produced craft spirits. The first-annual Craft Spirit Festival features 11 craft distilleries, each pouring samples, creating cocktails and speaking about the art of craft spirits.

“With the boom in craft distilleries in the province, Vancouver Island is leading the way with some very high-quality, creative products,” says Rick Pipes, co-owner of Merridale Cidery & Distillery. “Island distilleries tend to be small, and the passion of the owners is showcased in every bottle. We’re thrilled to be bringing together this group of dedicated creators.”

All attending distilleries are based on Vancouver or the Gulf islands.

Here is the full line up:

“The craft spirit festival is unique opportunity to highlight the nuances of what makes craft distilling different than commercial distilling. It allows us to showcase the island,” says Janet Docherty, co-owner at Merridale Cidery & Distillery. “As islanders, we like to think that we offer something different. Perhaps it’s the unique micro-climates that give us excellent growing opportunities for our raw ingredients. Perhaps it’s just that we love where we live, and it’s reflected in what we create.”

As a celebration of community, craft, passion and dedication, The Craft Spirit Festival represents the core Merridale’s beliefs. “It will be an opportunity to get together as fellow craft distillers so we can share knowledge and give support to one another, and the craft movement,” continues Janet. “Giving islanders the chance to taste and learn, too – well, what could be better?”

Merridale announced the festival just days after the City of Victoria gave the go-ahead for their second location in the Dockside Green neighbourhood. The plans for their new 12,000 square foot facility include a craft distillery, craft brewery, tasting bar and restaurant. Their goal is to venture into grain-based distilling and brewing.

November 3 will be an evening of new discovery, experiences and tastes. Tickets are on sale for $35. Purchase tickets here.

General Admission includes a shuttle from Victoria, Westshore, Duncan, Shawnigan Lake, or Cobble Hill, two tasting tokens and a souvenir tasting glass. Additional drink tokens are available for $2. The Merridale kitchen will be open during the festival for attendees to purchase food. Spinnakers Liquor Store will provide a pop-up liquor store from which to purchase the distilleries’ spirits.


A freelance writer and editor, Lisa Hoekstra loves learning and trying new things. She can be found with her nose in a book or multiple tabs open on her browser as she researches the latest and greatest in the world of food, style and everything in between.

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