After many years of research and study of small-batch spirit making, including a few “field trips” to England and France, we put our passion for craft beverages into action once again, launching the Merridale distillery in 2007. Our 200 litre copper pot still from Germany is designed to provide the flexibility for us to make aromatic brandies and gins while still permitting the creation of smooth vodka. All of our spirits are distilled at least twice and then aged in oak barrels, stainless steel tanks or glass containers until they reach their peak. Our apple and pear brandies are aged at least 6 years in new French Oak barrels while our XXO grape brandy is more than 10 years old. Our gin and vodka are also made entirely from BC grown fruits and botanicals, maintaining our craft tradition. Merridale’s family of beverages now includes the following spirits and fortified ciders:
Cowichan Gin, Cowichan Vodka, Cowichan Copper Gin, Cowichan Cider Brandy, Cowichan Pear Brandy, Whisky Jack's, Cowichan XXO Brandy and Apple Oh de Vie!. Our current roster of fortified beverages include Apple Dessert Cider and Pomme Oh!.
In 2013, BC created rules designating truly craft spirits requiring that a Certified Craft Distillery must make all of its products from BC grown raw materials and then they must be fermented, distilled and aged entirely by the craft distillery. We are proud that Merridale was the first Certified Craft Distillery in BC and that all of our spirits are made entirely by us at Merridale.