Breaking News
A crafty retirement in Roberts Creek

A crafty retirement in Roberts Creek

Head up a dusty, bumpy, gravel country road in Roberts Creek and there lies Bruinwood Estate Distillery, where owners Jeff Barringer and Danise Lofstrom have embarked on a long-time dream to open a craft distillery as a retirement project on their property. Bruinwood “is a family run, artisan distillery producing hand-crafted, small batch spirits using traditional methods.”

Jeff says, “we were among the first to move to this neighbourhood more than 18 years ago and at that time, it was all woods, blackberry brush and bears (hence the name, Bruinwood).” Since that time, the former TV and media producers have built a home, raised a daughter, grown their gardens and created a cottage industry with some of the best honey and eggs the Creek has to offer. This past year saw them develop their land further and build the distillery and tasting room for guests to come sample and enjoy the on-site distilled vodka, gin and liquors.

All of the ingredients that go into making the base alcohols produced and sold by Bruinwood have been grown in BC as required by law. The distillery is limited to producing 50,000 litres of alcohol per year, but Jeff says they are more likely to produce much less, around 8,000 to 9,000 litres per year. “Our vision is to focus on quality of products rather than quantity. We love working on our land and we love meeting friendly and interesting people.” In addition, Jeff and Danise see this venture as part of the larger food security movement happening, to produce and distribute the things we like to consume right here on the Coast.

For Jeff and Danise, who share a love of gourmet cooking, part of the attraction to starting a distillery over a brewery or winery, “is that it is more like cooking where there is a large diversity to the ingredients that can be used in the distilling process and opportunities to play with flavours.” The gin they are producing uses “rich flavours of juniper, coriander, anise, orange and lemongrass”.

Bruinwood Estate Distillery is one of only about 200 licensed craft distilleries in Canada. Jeff says that BC is one of the most progressive places in North America to become a craft alcohol producer due to BC’s long-time experience supporting the wine and craft beer industries. Jeff says that “BC now has a lot of experience with regulatory and taxation structures making the application process comparatively straight forward.” Although, he points out, “it’s a heavily regulated industry and we have to be accountable for every drop of alcohol we produce requiring us to have a long paper trail.”

For now, Bruinwood is open to the public at 2040 Porter Rd. on Fridays and Saturdays 10am to 6pm and Sundays 11am to 5pm. Online sales will be available soon

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Scroll To Top
The Local Weekly