Stay up-to-date on the latest news, special releases and events at Roots and Wings Distillery.
We’re very grateful for the recent media coverage, and the positive feedback, highlighting Roots and Wings Distillery in an article by The Province (Feb 16, 2020) and also appearing online in The Vancouver Sun.
Like most small businesses, we wear too many hats and have limited time or resources to access mass media opportunities. We’re always happy to answer questions from journalists and thankful for any mention in a story; but imagine our surprise when we opened The Province on Sunday, Feb 16 and found a 2-page spread about B.C. distilleries with our distillery front-and-centre! This great exposure in the news is much more than we expected. As Richard Branson once said, “A good PR story is infinitely more effective than a front page ad.”
We would like to express our gratitude to the journalist, Aleesha Harris, and The Province as well as The Vancouver Sun for featuring our craft distillery. Below is an excerpt of the original story published in The Province.
By Aleesha Harris
The Canadian craft-spirit industry is growing — by the week.
It’s a fact that co-authors Stephen Beaumont and Christine Sismondo say they discovered, a bit unexpectedly, while penning the recent release, Canadian Spirits: The Essential Cross-Country Guide to Distilleries, Their Spirits and Where to Imbibe Them ($29.95, Nimbus Publishing Ltd.).
“The Canadian craft-distilling scene had been growing like crazy for several years prior to our decision to write the book and we felt it was time somebody documented it,” Beaumont explains. “Little did we know that it would expand further by about 30 per cent between the time we came up with the idea and when we finished the book.”
The cascade of Canadian spirits really kicked off in 2013, Beaumont writes in the book, when changes to liquor legislation in B.C. allowed for craft distilleries to be exempt from the more than 160 per cent markup applied by the province through the Liquor Distribution Board — so long as they use local ingredients and produce less than 50,000 litres per year.(If they produce more than that amount, the spirits are subject to a markup applied on a sliding scale.)
Other provinces soon followed suit, ushering in a broader boom within the craft-distilling industry.
But the relative youth of the country’s craft spirits hasn’t led to an up-and-coming quality level of said sips, Beaumont assures. In fact, the standards set by the more than 165 craft establishments (all referred to by the author as “actual distilleries, that aren’t simply taking Neutral Grain Spirits or sourcing spirits from elsewhere and repackaging them as their own”) featured within the pages of the hardcover guide left the authors “pleasantly surprised,” the longtime drinks writer admits.
“When you have an industry as young as Canadian craft distilling, there is always a worry that you’re going to need to sift through a whole bunch of poorly made products to find the gems, but that was simply not the case,” Beaumont says. “In fact, when we were putting together our ‘Top 5’ lists of various spirits types that appear in the front of the book, there were certainly a lot more candidates than there were spaces. Those were tough decisions!”
The book features 56 distilleries in B.C., a number that Beaumont points out makes the province home to almost one-third of Canada’s distilleries.
“The B.C. government has put in place a tax structure for distilleries certified as ‘B.C. Craft,’ which is the most favourable and generous in the country,” Beaumont explains of the booming business.
Roots & Wings Distillery in Langley is one of them.
“It began as a pet project with a lot of research and scheming, then we hit the point where we had to make the decision on if this was a feasible option for both of us, and luckily it was; as I could not imagine life any other way now,” Rebekah Crowley, who runs the operation alongside her partner, Rob Rindt, says.
The South Langley distillery and tasting room serves up a unique selection of spirits, including vodka, gin and whiskey, each one made using homegrown ingredients from their 30-acre farm.
“We have our standard Vital Vodka, which is a potato- and corn-based vodka; it’s silky and smooth and is really meant to be enjoyed in a martini, with more flavour than a commercial vodka but without the burn,” Crowley explains. “With that as our base, we have infused-vodka options from — coffee to horseradish, to truffle to hops to cranberry.
“We are also in the process of launching our second gin, but just like our first it is soft on the juniper so it makes a great gin for those that aren’t big on the piney taste of juniper. Then, of course, there are the aged spirits from a young whiskey to a cinnamon whiskey to a barrel-aged old-fashioned, to a bourbon-style whiskey.”
Aged brandy, rye whiskey and gin are in the works, as well, with a proposed release date within the next year or so.
“I’m a bit of a whiskey girl,” Crowley says of her preferred sip. “We have a limited-edition young whiskey-ish that was aged for a year in small maple syrup barrels. I have it neat. It is lovely.”
While Crowley admits that neither she nor Rindt had distilling experience when they first got started, she says that what they lacked in know-how, they made up for in interest.
“(It’s a) passion project all the way,” Crowley says. “It’s still a bit surreal that I get to create these great spirits to turn into cocktails for people to enjoy.”
Since opening their tasting room in February 2017 with two flavours, Roots & Wings has expanded to include a lounge offering 10 different spirits and a “revolving” craft cocktail list, a new addition in 2020.
When asked to summarize the current distilling-industry scene in B.C., Crowley echoed the idea initially mentioned by the authors of Canadian Spirits that, when it comes to craft-distilling, it’s all about expansion.
“It’s fantastic; the growth over the last few years has been amazing,” she says, pointing toward “higher taxes and fees” as pitfalls in the process and “more resources and events that promote local B.C. distilled spirits” as growth factors.
And a resource like Canadian Spirits will likely help promote the industry too. At least, that’s the hope of its co-author.
“We see this book as having three purposes: a travel guide for people who might want to pay a visit to a distillery or two as they tour this remarkable country; a guide to craft spirits that might encourage readers to step out of their comfort zones and discover some truly wonderful, Canadian-made spirits; and a compendium of the many great and fascinating stories behind the people who built these distilleries,” Beaumont says. “If any one of those, or even two or all three, resonates, then I’ll be happy.”
Celebrate what love means to you with a superb cocktail - no matter your relationship – during our Valentine’s Day Happy Hour at Roots and Wings Distillery. We’re rolling out two special drink menus to honour those that are unattached or smitten!
Truth be told, not everyone loves the Hallmark Holiday of Valentine’s Day! The day has been overly romanticized, encouraging people to express loving gestures with roses, sweets, bling and bubbles. That can be exciting for some people, while creating anxiety for others.
The notion of romance has evolved for us from when we were younger and single to now being married and parents. Being more mature and aware of the intricacies of relationships, we don’t necessarily need to celebrate in the traditional way. Nope, instead this year we’d like to celebrate it with YOU.
We’re reframing V-Day and unapologetically skipping the sentimental mush and hosting a special Happy Hour from 3 to 7 pm on February 14 at the Drinkery, featuring our Lonely Souls cocktail menu for all the single guys and gals out there. And, of course, we couldn’t leave out the couples, so there’s also a Love Birds cocktail menu. All drinks are made with our craft spirits.
With the Lonely Souls cocktails, tap into the fun of being solo and give some self-love with drinks like the Basement Dweller, One Night Stand, Rejection and 25 Cats.
For the adoring couples, embrace romance and couple-hood with the Love Birds cocktails that include the Heartthrob, Happy Couple, Destiny and MiAmore.
We invite you to join us to rejoice any relationship – whether it’s with yourself, a bestie or love interest. Let’s toast to being grateful for all of life's relationships. Cheers to that!
With the snow and wintry temperatures arriving, you probably want to hibernate at home in your jammies and grab a hot drink. Nothing turns up the heat faster than a whiskey-spiked cocktail, so we’ve rounded up five hot whiskey drink recipes from popular blog sites to keep you warm and toasty all winter long. Mix them up with our Roots and Wings Distillery's whiskey style spirits – Rebel, Sidekick, or Johnny Handsome – all distilled from sweet corn grown at our distillery farm.
Topping the list is this fresh spin on a chai tea – a cozy, tasty vegan chai whiskey cocktail made from almond milk steeped with chai tea, whiskey and orange juice. It’s just the right balance of spice, sweetness and boozy warmness.
Cocktail Recipe: rhubarbarians.com.
Whiskey Recommendation: Rebel - Notes of honey and orangey-citrus with a hint of smokiness.
For the coffee lovers, this hot cocktail offers richly deep and dark flavours with bittersweet and caramelly tones. It’s warm and intoxicating and may become your ultimate nightcap!
Cocktail Recipe: seriouseats.com
Whiskey Recommendation: Johnny Handsome - Aged in a charred barrel with notes of soft caramel and toasted oak.
Keep it simple but spiced and boozy with a hot apple cider spiked with whiskey. This steaming brew will surely push away those winter chills and make your home smell delicious.
Cocktail Recipe: helloglow.co
Whiskey Recommendation: Sidekick – Notes of cinnamon and honey, bringing a delightful combination of sweet and heat.
We can't talk hot drinks without talking about the classic Hot Toddy. All you need is hot water, whiskey, honey, lemon, and a cinnamon stick to garnish. It’s made for slow sipping and great for the sniffles too.
Cocktail Recipe: cookieandkate.com
Whiskey Recommendation: Sidekick – Notes of cinnamon and honey, bringing a delightful combination of sweet and heat. Or, Rebel - Notes of honey and orangey-citrus with a hint of smokiness.
When you’re craving a mug of something thick and creamy, it’s hard to beat a bourbon spiked hot chocolate. This decadent drink comes together easily, and you’ll be enjoying its luscious flavours before you know it.
Cocktail Recipe: cookienameddesire.com
Whiskey Recommendation: Johnny Handsome - Aged in a charred barrel with notes of soft caramel and toasted oak.
Header Photo Credit: Taylor Friehl (Unsplash)
January seems to get a bad rap for feeling like the Monday of all the months. It’s rather dull at this time of year with the drab weather, dark days, and the pressure of resolutions with DOs and DON’Ts for eating, working, and fitness. Worse yet, no drinking for the dreaded Dry January which sounds like a long Monday of no fun. If you’re anything like us, why punish yourself and make an already bleak month worse?
Instead, we’re making it a Jan-NEW-ary because there’s plenty to be happy about! To break up the January Blues, we are open all month from 12 to 5pm, Friday to Sunday. And, we’ve even thrown in a mood-lifting event that you should join on January 18th.
Back by popular demand, we are hosting our second Meat & Neat whiskey tasting paired with a scrumptious charcuterie spread on January 18th, 5:30 to 9 pm. Come experience our range of premium spirits in various whiskey style expressions including the new bourbon style spirit called Johnny Handsome. You’ll also get to sample what we still have in barrels, while savouring a fiesta of gourmet meats, cheeses, dips and artisan accompaniments.
Tickets at Eventbrite. Ticket holders also get 10% off purchases at the distillery.
‘Tis the season for giving and nothing beats great cocktails or artisan spirits as gifts for the drink enthusiasts. We’re here to help you check off your shopping bucket list and make spirits bright with unique distillery gifts for Christmas. Want gifts with a WOW factor? Give them a creative cocktail themed gift bucket, hand-crafted artisan spirits, Spirits Club membership or RAW Gift Certificate, while shopping local this festive season! You’ll be spoil for choices of gifts from our Distillery. Don’t hesitate to contact us or come by. We’ll help you personalize the right gifts!
Cocktail Themed Gift Buckets
For the aspiring home mixologists, surprise them with a cocktail themed gift bucket so they can mix it up with a cool combination of spirits, mixing ingredients and recipe for the perfect cocktail. If you aren’t familiar with our distillery store, we offer a large selection of local syrups, tonics, salts, olives, bitters, and pickled accoutrements…practically every element one needs to create any cocktail. Here’s just a few ideas:
For those that adore dirty martinis, we can make up a gift box with our Jackknife Gin and Fume-eh Gourmet smoked Olives from Port Moody along with some Sourback out of Nanaimo from Barrel House Brine.
For the Caesar lover, a gift box could include our Vital Vodka, Walter Caesar mix from Vancouver, along with pickled beans, spicy pineapple from Barrel House brine and Pacific-salted rimmer from Abbotsford’s Simply Delish spice market. And, our favorite way to top off an amazing Caesar is with a shot of Pineapple Habanero cordial from Frost Bite syrup company in Squamish. Trust us, it’s amazing!
For those craving the sweeter side of drinks, we have the Organic Fair syrups from Cobble Hill (Vancouver Island) as well as the Rootside ginger beer and tonic; both are regularly used in our cocktail menu. How about a Mule Gift Bucket using our specially infused Hops & Honey Vital Vodka with Roots and Wings Distillery’s copper mule mugs? Or, maybe a Eggnog Gift Bucket complete with our Double Vice, coffee infused vodka! And then, there's the Sidekick Cider Gift Bucket with ginger beer and sweet apple cider? And back by popular demand is our bourbon barrel-aged maple syrup that can take a cozy cocktail to a whole new level! More great gift bucket examples below.
From smooth to sassy or sweet to savoury concoctions, we can make a gift box for it! Let us be your go-to distillery for gifting creative cocktail boxes!
Artisan Spirits Gift Buckets
Stock your giftee’s home bar with the gift of hand-crafted artisan spirits. Choose from our large selection of vodkas, whiskies, and gins (with a new flavour soon to be announced), and special or seasonal infusions.
Why choose one bottle when you can gift a collection. Make it a multi-bottled gift basket! Mix and match or we can theme the basket. For the whiskey lover, they’ll thank you for their ultimate craft Whiskey Gift Bucket ($124 plus taxes) featuring the Roots and Wings Distillery’s Rebel, Sidekick, Johnny Handsome and Old Fashioned! Vodka lovers will appreciate the Vodka Gift Bucket ($107 plus taxes), filled with our Double Vice - coffee infused, Vital Vodka - hops & honey infused, Renegade and Vital Vodka.
And, make it extra fun with boozy stocking stuffers. Spike up those stockings on the mantle or secret Santa exchanges with our spirits in 50 ml mini-bottles. Or give them the gift of choices with a gift certificate from the distillery.
The Gift Of A Spirits Club Membership
A Spirits Club membership can be the perfect gift for both the seasoned or budding drink appreciationados! Not only will you gift them the experience of craft spirits and cocktails, but they’ll also receive exclusive member perks (free tastings, discounts, offers, access to early releases or events) of the coolest distillery club in Greater Vancouver!
For your giftee, you can choose from two Spirits Club programs - each delivering a guaranteed allocation.
Surprise them with Craft Cocktails Membership to explore flavourful craft cocktails year-round. There are 4 automatic allocations per year and each craft cocktail box include a bottle (375 ml) of craft spirit, recipe and all the ingredients to create a signature cocktail that is specially designed for the club.
Gift them the finest craft spirits of Roots and Wings Distillery with the Distiller’s Choice membership. This program is expertly curated by our distiller. There are 2 automatic allocations per year. Each spirits box includes 6 bottles (375 ml) of artisan spirits per box allocation that includes expressions of vodka, gin, whiskey, special infusions or releases.
Contact us or drop by soon to pick the best gift for your loved ones! We will be open normal business hours (Fridays to Sundays 12-5 pm) throughout December, except the Friday before Christmas. Happy Holidays and Happy Shopping!
Vodka Gift Bucket $107 plus taxes
Jingle Juice Gift Bucket $70.28 plus taxes
Sidekick Cider Gift Bucket $62.04 plus taxes
Eggnog Gift Bucket $55.65 plus taxes
Mule Gift Bucket $105.64 plux taxes
The holiday season is upon us, bringing with it the gift-giving pressure for your Santa list! Let us make it easy for you to find those unique gifts with some retail therapy accompanied by delicious craft cocktails. Join us at the distillery for Sip + Shop, an evening of festive libations and shopping with local crafters on December 12th, 5 – 9 pm. Free admission, including a welcome drink. Oh, what fun!
For our 2nd annual Sip & shop at the distillery, our tasting room – The Drinkery – will be open with our menu of drinks and nibbles, plus we’ll have our own table of goodies as gift options. And this year, there are more vendors in the line up, including:
Goat & Pebble is one of our returning artisans showcasing the creative genius - Molly Gray. She designs original artwork that you can use in everyday life from shirts to bags and cards, plus so much more!
Ravens Edge Design will be bringing back her custom tumblers with the sassiest sayings. They'll be perfect for those naughty and nice folks on your list.
Gwendolyn’s Paradise is the bath bomb badass with her full bath and beauty line. These pampering items are perfect for stockings or to add to your personalized gift basket. Or, stock up for yourself…you deserve it!
Also returning is Boodles Cuddlers with her beautiful one-of-a-kind lap quilts, which are sure to warm up any giftee! We should know as we use ours every day.
New this year to the Sip + Shop are:
Custom Caps offer great caps, perfect for the little kids as well as the adult who is still a kid at heart. Lots of unique designs to keep your melon warm.
Coghlan Cottage Farm + Mercantile will be bringing their slow lifestyle store to the distillery. Trust us, you will want to get your hands on some of their lard and goat milk soap. As a new convert to her vegan bar shampoo and conditioner, we’re thrilled that they’re joining us for this event.
Potter and Crow Craft Coffee Roasters from New Westminster will be bringing out what we’ll all be needing on Friday morning, actually every morning - coffee coffee and coffee!
The Fort Finery features handmade jewellery. If you’ve been eying that pretty piece on their Etsy shop, then you’ll likely find it at our event. Whether it’s for a special someone or yourself (as you’re pretty special), their jewellery may well be that extraordinary gift that you’re looking for!
Last, but certainly not least, is Oxford Ice Cream. Say what? ICE CREAM in December?!? Hear us out. Andrea of Oxford Ice Cream has made an ice cream with a little warmth - blending our new bourbon, Johnny Handsome, with some amaretto cherries. Yes, there will be samples and even better - you can buy a tub to take home!
Don’t shop and sip alone, bring your friends…because it’s the hap-happiest season of all to share! We are super excited for this year’s round up of local crafters and can’t wait to see all of you!
Get to know our new and much anticipated bourbon style spirit – Johnny Handsome - paired with a menagerie of cured, spiced, herbed or smoked meats at our latest event, Meat & Neat, on November 22!
Back in 2017, we set aside some pure corn spirit (71% alc) in a new charred barrel and crossed our fingers that it would mature into a handsome young bourbon style spirit. Fast forward to today and it’s time to unveil our new whiskey. Johnny Handsome is ready to come out to play! He was a strong spirited lad at first, so we’ve mellowed him out a tad and brought him down to about 50% alc. Still, the whiskey is beautifully bold and best enjoyed neat or with a splash of water!
If there is one thing to pair with a handsome whiskey, it’s the savoury goodness of well-crafted meat cuts and cures. Hence, we are hosting our first whiskey tasting event, Meat & Neat (November 22nd, 6 to 9 pm), and working with Graze and Cardamom to provide a charcuterie board for your grazing pleasure.
Along with the reveal of the Johnny Handsome spirit, we will also be previewing the not-yet-bottled Maple Bourbon and the rye whiskey (still aging in barrels) to be released in 2021. Enjoy the opportunity to get a first-hand look into what’s shaping up at the Roots and Wings Distillery!
Join us for this intimate and immersive pairing event! Limited tickets available. Ticket holders also get 10% off purchases. Tickets at Eventbrite.
With the cooler weather comes cooler cocktails on the menu at The Drinkery, located at our distillery just outside Fort Langley. Don’t fret, as we can still mix up your favorite drinks from the summer; but as October comes into view, we have new creations that showcase the versatility of our artisan spirits and will take you from summer to fall! Here’s a glimpse:
Perfect for sipping while the leaves change colours is the One Day In Paradise cocktail, which features our specially released Cranberry Orange Honey Infused Vodka combined with Rootside Tonic, and the ever-delectable Cara Cara Balsamic Vinegar from Olivias Oils & Vinegars. It’s a bright and refreshing fall drink that will keep you in a summery mood.
When you can’t decide between a beer and cocktail, you gotta try our deeply satisfying beer Cocktail – The Buzz. The base is a sour beer that has been created from a collaboration between several of our local Langley craft breweries: Camp Beer Co., Five Roads Brewing Co., and Farm Country Brewing. While this beautiful sour beer is perfect on its own, we’ve kicked I up a notch with a splash of Jackknife Gin and touch of Kalamansi Lime Cordial from Frost Bites Syrup Co. This cocktail was featured during a summer event at the Fraser Valley Cidery in August, and it was a hit! Hence, we’ve decided to add it to our fall cocktail menu. Quench your thirst in fine fashion with the The Buzz, especially for those of you that are curious about beer cocktails.
Made for slow sipping as the days get shorter, is our next cocktail addition - Stormy Rebel. This drink features our Rebel, a pure corn spirit aged for a month with toasted oak. We wanted to make a ‘dark and stormy’ style cocktail; but unfortunately, we don’t have rum in our repertoire at this time. With that in mind, we reimagined the drink with the smoky flavour of the Rebel mixed with some coconut palm Simple Syrup, Rootside Ginger Beer Mix, fresh squeezed lime and a dash of bitters. Not only is it delicious, it’s a close recreation of one of our favorite cocktails from the POV rooftop lounge in Washington DC.
These three new cooler cocktails, and more, are waiting for you to belly up to our bar at The Drinkery. So, be sure to stop by in October to try them out. Roots and Wings Distillery is open 12-5, Friday to Sunday. Of course, if you want the recipe and all the ingredients, we are happy to supply you with those as well! Happy sipping into fall!
Get crafty making flip top drinks in our newest cocktail class! Join us at the Roots and Wings Distillery on August 23, 6 pm for Flip Top Friday where we will create four DIY tasty craft cocktails for you to take home in 750ml flip top resealable bottles! They are ready to drink cocktails - simply chill, pop and pour. Enjoy these fantastic and convenient beverages at your next BBQ, beach picnic or baseball game and impress your friends with your new crafty skills!
Ready-To-Drink (RTD) cocktails are saturating the market these days. These are the ready to go vodka sodas and highballs in a can or bottle! Sure, they are quick and convenient, but they aren’t always the best quality and they don’t allow you to support your local craft distilleries. With the liquor laws being what they are, we unfortunately cannot sell you a can cocktail, but we can teach you how to make your own craft cocktail - even better!
At the Flip Top Friday cocktail class you will sample a variety of cocktails available for making, then craft your select favourites. All cocktails will be made with our artisan spirits, along with other quality ingredients. So, not only will you make and keep your RTD cocktails but you will also get the recipe and expertise to craft them up again and again, whenever your want.
Examples of our refreshing flavour options include: Lavender Mule, Pineapple Habanero Caesar, Peachy Keen Iced tea, Gin-Ya-Rita, Bee’s Knees, Lemon Vodka Doda, All Hopped Up... and any creative ideas you may have.
Get your cocktail inspiration on and take part in our latest distillery class!
Cost: $75 per person
Address: 7897 - 240th Street near Fort Langley
Sign up for the class by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
Take the art of cocktailing to the next fun level by joining our new Roots and Wings Distillery Spirits Club. The club is open to everyone and is a collective of members interested in expanding their world of cocktail possibilities and the craft of mixing artisan spirits. And, we’re kicking things up in true distillery style…with a party "The Cocktail Collective" on Aug 24th, 4 to 8 pm
Come enjoy a ton of fun! We’ll have the Trios food truck, live music with Pat Chesell, and cocktails. The event is free to members and $10 to non-members. Please RSVP to email@example.com or call 604 371 2268. Address: 7897 - 240th Street near Fort Langley.
Wanna be a member? Join the Club with a Craft Cocktails membership or Distiller’s Choice membership to immediately enjoy the perks, including a free ticket to this party. And, Distiller’s Choice members can already pick up their August allocation box of six spirits at the party! Discover more and sign up for the Spirits Club here!