With the passing of WLD’s 3rd birthday on January 6th, 2020, a moment to celebrate is in order!
Time really does fly. Cliché, but its the truth. Keith and I sat down last week for our yearly brainstorm, think-tank, strategy meeting. As we reflected on the 3 years passed, we couldn’t help but return to a common theme: A feeling of being thankful, grateful, appreciative, whatever you want to call it.
We feel incredibly lucky to be able to run this little business for a living, and although it is impossible to tell each and every one of our fans / supporters / customers this face to face; here is a photo of Keith’s face to say it for all of us at WLD. Thank you!
Cheers to 3 years. Yes that is whisky in the glass ;)
When we set off 3 years ago to build this “something”, there were so many question marks: Can we do this? Can we make a good product? Will people like it? Will people like us? Will people buy it? Are we sticking our necks out too far here? Do we even know anything?
3 years later, and the answers are some yes’s and some no’s, and I guess what we have really done in this time is answer questions; for our fans, for our critics, and for ourselves. So to preface this 2020 news update, from the bottom of Kman and Widdy’s heart’s, thank you for all of the support you have shown us in our early years as business owners; for every party/event you have ever come to, for every bottle you have ever shared, for every friend you have ever told about WLD, it all ads up to two grateful little entrepreneurs.
3 years ago. Green as.
Ok enough cheese, so what has happened in the last couple of months?
Recap of the back half of 2019.
Saskatoon Gin! We decided to go out on a limb and blend in some Saskatoon Berries (grown in Alberta at the Saskatoon Farm) into a batch of our 2019 Alberta Botanical Gin. The result was a home run! An almost Sloe Style Gin, this delicious sipping gin was a hit over the Christmas holidays. We only wish we could have made more, as it has sadly come and gone until next summer…
Saskatoon ABG looking festive.
Rocky Mountain Mule Syrup. Say what? Think a ginger beer concentrate. This little ditty allows you to mix WLD Vodka + Mule Syrup + Soda and make a delicious Moscow Mule at home. Or at work..! No need for lime or ginger as those ingredients are already in the bottle! Similar concept to our WLD Tonic Syrup, just for the vodka drinker’s in the crowd. Ok you could mix it with WLD Gin as well and it still tastes awesome.
The Perfect Mule Combo
Events, events, events……..
We shared our spirits with politicians and police officers at the Rocky Mountain Wine and Food Festival in Edmonton.
We shared our spirits with our fellow distillers at the Calgary Grape Escape show put on by Co-op Wine Spirits Beer.
We shared our cocktails with the Bow Valley at the Banff Craft Beer Festival.
And of course we shared our cocktails with everyone who came through the distillery tasting room to enjoy the seasonal offerings our wonderful bar team came up with. Thank you Cheryl :)
“Yule Like It” Cocktail
With the turn of the New Year, we are looking forward to what 2020 has in store.
Here is what’s coming at you in the next couple of months around the Bow Valley and AB:
The Tribute to Craft Spirits Celebration in Banff. This is an amazing opportunity for everyone who loves craft spirits and cocktails to sample all of the best that Western Canada has to offer. Their website (https://tributetocraft.com) showcases all of the participating distilleries + restaurants & bars, but essentially you can walk into almost any restaurant in Banff during the festival and try some unique cocktail creations! January 15th-26th.
2 noteworthy events to check out during the above mentioned Tribute to Craft Spirits Festival.
- The Outdoor Tasting Experience. On January 24th/25th in the Bear St. parking lot in Banff, all participation distilleries and food outlets will be set up in an outdoor event format pouring sample cocktails!
- The Vermillion Room Cocktail Competition! 2.0 of this event. We have teamed up with the Fairmont Banff Springs again along with The Tribute to Craft Spirits Festival team this year to put on another awesome Wild Life Cocktail Competition. There will be 8 bartenders from Banff & Lake Louise competing for top spot. Prizes, food, and delicious cocktails will be on offer, so this is an evening not to miss. Sunday, January 26th, from 7-10pm at The Vermillion Room in the Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel. Tickets available here.
Banff Vermillion Room Cocktail Competition 2019.
Upcoming events around Alberta in 2020:
Alberta Food and Beverage Expo Lethbridge: January 25th
Jasper Beer & Spirits Festival: January 31st - February 2nd
Fairview Gin Cocktail Competition at the Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise: February 4th - (email us if you want the deets on this event)
Alberta Food and Beverage Expo Medicine Hat: April 4th
Calgary International Beer Fest: May 1st-2nd
AND…. A ‘SAVE THE DATE’ FOR THE WLD 3 YEAR ANNIVERSARY PARTY is Saturday, February 8th, right here at Wild Life Distillery.
We will celebrate our 3rd birthday on this day. Come join us for some give-a-ways, Valbella snacks and tasty cocktail specials. The festivities will be on all day (from 12pm-late), so join us if you can for a ‘cheers’ to our 3rd lap around the sun.
2020 will be a year of evaluation and projection for WLD. We have worked hard to get ourselves to where we are today, and now we can pause, reflect, and re-focus on what is to come moving forward. We will report back in a few months.
Till then, it’s time to get out on the ski trails! (The 1A highway is currently groomed for XC Skiing in anticipation the upcoming Lake Louise to Banff Cross Country Ski Loppet! Conditions never last long, so throw on some layers and get out there!) Happy Trails.