Where to buy small-batch and craft liquors in Vancouver

In the Pacific Northwest, craft beer is akin to religion. We sip our porters, lagers and IPAs made with care from local brew-masters. As liquor laws have changed over the last couple of years, a different kind of craft is happening in the Lower Mainland: distilling. Small-batch distilleries are producing fine vodkas, sakes, gins and whiskeys right here in Vancouver. [Photo courtesy of Odd Society Spirits]

Odd Society Spirits

1725 Powell St, Vancouver, BC V5L 1H6

Odd Society Spirits made a name for themselves for being one of the first alcohol vendors at the Vancouver Farmers Market. As East Van’s unofficial distiller, they are accessible, friendly and fun. One of their signature products is a crème de cassis made with B.C. blackcurrants. You can take a free tour of the distillery and then enjoy a cocktail in their tasting lounge – a light-filled space that has a steam-punk-inspired speakeasy vibe.

Liberty Merchant Distillery

1-1494 Old Bridge St, Vancouver, BC V6H 3S6

The Liberty Distillery is a relatively new addition to the Vancouver distilling scene, but its spirits and space take a page or two from the city’s historic heritage. Handcrafted, premium spirits (including gins, whiskeys and vodkas) can be tasted and purchased on site at the 110-year-old saloon bar. This Granville Island destination has good genes, too: its sister company, Liberty Wines, is known for an exceptional selection of wines and knowledgeable staff, which have earned it a devoted customer base.

Artisan Sakemaker At Granville Island

1339 Railspur Alley, Vancouver, BC V6H 4G9

It’s a little known fact that rice is grown in B.C.’s Fraser Valley region. Far fewer people know that some of that crop is transported to Granville Island where a master sake maker, Masa Shiroki, produces small batches of premium natural sake throughout the year. Osake is Canada’s first premium, locally sourced sake. The spirits from the “winery” are fruity and clean, and change flavours with the seasons. Visitors can enjoy tastings (for a small fee), and buy the sake onsite.

Deep Cove Brewers & Distillers Inc

170-2270 Dollarton Hwy, North Vancouver, BC V7H 1A8

Friends and business partners Sean Bethune and Shae Dejaray had big ambitions when they opened for business in 2013: they’d tackle quality beers and liquors in the same space. Housed in a large warehouse, Deep Cove Brewers and Distillers hosts events regularly, featuring live entertainment and food trucks for the North Shore community. Taste their rosemary and olive gin, the signature Deep Cove vodka and seasonal spirits all on site in the intimate lounge, or on the patio, when the sun’s out!

Long Table Distillery

1451 Hornby St, Vancouver, BC V6Z 1W8

This distillery’s namesake is a 14-foot plank cut from a locally recovered sequoia redwood tree, made into a table that anchors the tasting room. The artisanal distillery is owned by husband-and-wife team Charles and Rita Tremewen and its clear these two are passionate about local products. Their small-batch spirits are made from ingredients handpicked by expert foragers, mostly in B.C. Award-winning gins are the stars but their range of spirits is expanding each season. Stop by for Gin and Tonic Fridays to enjoy handcrafted gins paired with premium tonics and gourmet snacks from visiting food trucks.

Legacy Liquor Store

1633 Manitoba St, Vancouver, BC V5Y 0B8

Legacy Liquor Store has virtually everything to cover your imbibing needs, and then some! This Olympic Village institution measures an impressive 8,600 square feet and the shelves are stocked with beers, wines, spirits and all sorts of cocktail making accessories for your bar cart. International standouts play alongside micro and small-batch liquors from local producers. Locavore liquor lovers can sip through more than 100 spirits from B.C. distilleries.

Son's of Vancouver Distillery

1431 Crown St, North Vancouver, BC V7J 1G4

Sons of Vancouver serves the North Shore with fine spirits and a good dash of fun. Best friends Richard Klaus and James Lester opened up their business in 2015 with help from a crowd funding campaign. Today, the North Van distillery carries a straightforward signature vodka, chili vodka and an amaretto, all beautifully packaged. It’s a small operation, with the tasting room only open on the weekends so that the owners can keep their day jobs.

Yaletown Distilling Company

1132 Hamilton St, Vancouver, BC V6B 2S2

Complement a beer tasting Yaletown Brewing with tastings and tours at nearby Yaletown Distilling Company. Their signature Yaletown Gin and Yaletown Vodka can also be enjoyed with Italian food at the Distillery Bar + Kitchen next door, where the bartenders will work their magic and transform the spirits into refreshing cocktails.

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Want to step up your at-home bartending game? From small boutiques to restaurant suppliers, Vancouver is home to plenty of shops that cater to amateur mixologists and cocktail enthusiasts of all sorts. Deck out your bar cart and master the Old Fashioned by visiting these fine retailers. [Photo courtesy of Sips Cocktail Emporium]
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