From Seed to Sip

Photo: Eau Claire Distillery – Credit: Travel Alberta

Situated along Whisky Row (a notorious prohibition-era strip created a century ago) in the tiny town of Turner Valley lies Eau Claire Distillery, Alberta’s first craft distillery. Their commitment to concocting small-batch spirits is taken up a notch by using and preserving traditional farming techniques.
  • Each spring, 50 draft horses from across the province will plow and seed 10 hectares (25 acres) of land at Bar U Ranch National Historic Site the old-fashioned way. The malting barley will be harvested 100 days later, and used in Eau Claire’s artisanal spirits.
  • Established in 1882, Bar U Ranch was one of the first, most successful and largest ranching operations in Canada. Set within green rolling foothills on the eastern slopes of the Canadian Rocky Mountains, Bar U Ranch was once visited by H.R.H. Edward Prince of Wales, who was so impressed he bought a ranch next door.
  • After watching spring planting, visitors can tour the working distillery located a short distance from Bar U Ranch along the Cowboy Trail.
  • Distillery tours weave their way between German made copper distilling towers, into a dunnage barrel warehouse and include samples of their award-winning spirits. 
  • This September marks three years of operation and Eau Claire Distillery will be launching their first batch of Alberta Craft Whiskey.    

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