A Visit to Eau Claire Distillery

This past week-end on my way home from my latest Kelowna workshop, I detoured through Turner Valley, Alberta where I stopped at Eau Claire Distillery. Some 25 years ago I used to live Okotoks, Alberta when it was a small town of 6000 people. I can recall back then taking the occasional drive to nearby Turner Valley and Black Diamond which really were nothing. Fast forward to today and these former dying villages have been “gentrified” and catapulted into the 21st century. Would have, could have, should have bought some real estate in these tiny villages back then…..

Eau Claire Distillery has set up shop in what used to be the old movie theatre. And a masterful job they have done, as the following pictures show.

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Eau Claire has also done a masterful marketing job of playing on the entire field to flask theme. In our 5-Day Workshops, I often use Eau Claire as an example of how to properly play on a theme. From their heavy horses to the interior western decor, Eau Claire scores top marks in the marketing category.

Eau Claire has also recently scored top marks on one of its products – Equinox. I use Equinox in the 5-day Workshops to illustrate what can be done with a grain spirit. Far too many craft distillers are releasing their White Whisky’s and Grain Spirits in plain format hoping and expecting that the consumer will start buying them in large quantity. I dare say, many of these craft distillers are probably less than happy with sales levels of their White products. With Equinox, Eau Claire has opted to macerate some prickly pear cactus and some citrus in its White spirit. Wow! With a bit of ice, Equinox is a true pleasure to sip. The prickly pear flavors keep your taste buds calling more more..more..more…

If in the area south of Calgary, a trip to Eau Claire should be top of your list. Just remember – take your time getting there. I was in a bit of a hurry and I ended up stopping along the way to make a donation to the local RCMP. Something about going 130 kms/hr in a 100 km/hr zone. My contention that I was in a hurry to get to Eau claire somehow did not earn me any sympathy from the officer…..