Nathan and Kayla Flim have officially opened the doors to The Fort Distillery.
During the day, Nathan is a crop inspector and Kayla is a registry agent, so running the distillery is a first for the couple. Nathan said that they had thrown around the idea of opening a distillery for a few years and decided to make it official in January.
One of their goals is to be as local as possible.
"My wife and I live in Fort Saskatchewan and we really like the community here. We love all the festivals, all the parades, the farmer's market. It's a big enough city, but it still has that small town feel where it feels like a real community and we really wanted to be a part of that," said Nathan. "We really want to use as many local ingredients as we can and be a good local company."
The distillery is making vodka and gin to start. Nathan, who has a background in chemistry, does all the distilling himself."I don't do any chemistry at my day job, but my degree in chemistry definitely helps because I had done a lot of distillation on a small scale. I know the theory behind it, I know how to do it, so it was basically just scaling that up from the small scale in the lab to the big scale in the distillery."
Using wheat from a local farm, the grain is cooked, fermented and than distilled to make vodka. Gin is made in a similar way, but is also flavoured with grapefruit or lemon peel.
The entire process takes about a week and a half.
"We'll be adding more products as we go, depending on what people want. If everybody wants whisky, we can make a whisky. We can do flavoured vodkas. The sky is the limit, basically."
Right now, they are just serving cocktails and samples of their alcohol but hope to start selling bottles in a few weeks. The couple plan on eventually sell their products out of liquor stores, restaurants and bars.
Currently, they don't sell any food, but are also hoping to partner with a local restaurant so customers can eat while they have a drink.
The official grand opening of the distillery was on Saturday (Sept. 8).