Okanagan Spirits Craft Distillery hit the jackpot at the 2022 Canadian Whisky Awards.
The Vernon and Kelowna distillery won Artisan Distillery of the Year at the awards and took home three gold medals for its BRBN bourbon-style whisky, its Black Laird cask-strength single-malt whisky and its BLK BRBN cask-strength bourbon-style whisky.
Okanagan Spirits also earned silver medals for its Laird of Fintry single-malt and its Blue Laird of Fintry single-malt whiskies, and a bronze medal for its B.C. rye whisky.
The family-owned distillery has been the recipient of numerous awards over the years.
“To be honoured by Canada’s premier whisky competition and to be recognized with so many of the top awards across so many whisky categories is a real tribute to our distilling team, to my family, and to the local farmers growing the grains that have earned a place for our whisky on the national and international stage,” said CEO Tyler Dyck.
Two decades ago, Okanagan Spirits became the first B.C. craft distillery to fire up a copper pot still since the prohibition era. It has since become a leader in modernizing craft liquor production policy in B.C. and Canada, with Dyck heading the Craft Distiller’s Guild of B.C. and the Canadian Craft Distillers Alliance.
“The reforms we continue to fight for are aimed at ensuring authenticity in traditional production techniques and at staying intimately linked to the local ‘terroir,’ using only local agricultural products in the creation of our spirits, which has clearly been rewarded tonight with the recognition as Artisan Distillery of the Year,” said Dyck.
The Dyck family believes sourcing local grains and fruit is the cornerstone of true craft distillation, and it means their spirits capture the tastes of the Okanagan Valley’s fields and orchards, with a whisky flavour profile that’s unique and specific to the region.
This was the first year Okanagan Spirits entered into the national competition.