Snake Lake Brewing Company employee Tayler Letwin filling up beer kegs. Reeti Meenakshi Rohilla / Sylvan Lake News

Snake Lake Brewing Company employee Tayler Letwin filling up beer kegs. Reeti Meenakshi Rohilla / Sylvan Lake News

Sylvan Lake brewery expands to introduce town’s first distillery

Unique addition will broaden local choices

Sylvan Lake’s Snake Lake Brewing Company is expanding operations to include a distillery under its wing and offer locally crafted options for individuals to choose from. Named after the year Snake Lake was renamed Sylvan Lake, the 1903 Craft Spirits distillery will run as a separate business from the brewery.

What began as the passion project of a rig hand, an instrumentation technician, and a mechanic in 2017 is now diversifying to produce spirits as well. Aiming to appeal to the non-beer-drinking demographic, the distillery located at 26 Industrial Dr. took possession of a former garage adjacent to the brewery to start renovations last fall.

“We are looking forward to adding our personal touch to the craft spirits world and it is very exciting for us to be able to offer spirits from our amazing town of Sylvan Lake all over the province. It’s going to be a lot of fun coupling our passions of beer and spirits to reach out to Albertans with another locally produced option,” said Adam Nachbaur. He owns both businesses in partnership with Bill Beekman, Dean Beekman, Wouter Beekman.

Nachbaur hopes to begin producing packaged products by the end of March, starting with gin, vodka and hard lemonade to later expand to more complex crafts such as whiskies. He also hopes to start offering barrels for sale going forward.

With a few pending formalities, the business hopes to soon work out the inauguration date.

The distillery consists of one 250L still used to produce spirits, crafted using wheat, rye, and corn. Production times of different spirits can vary majorly including as little as eight hours for gins to a minimum of about three years for more complex crafts including whiskies.

The distillery is equipped with a four-hour firewall room, special doors, and fire suppression to ensure safe functioning.

“It’s like a whole new adventure. We have a craft distiller on staff and it’ll be fun to learn about something new. We know beer very well and to work with a product now that doesn’t have a shelf life… has so much more potential for where we can go with spirits.”

The supply shortages and skyrocketing prices did not deter the distillery’s efforts and preference to source local ingredients, similar to the brewery that gets all its grains from Alberta.

“Our logo is the Alberta province, we want to buy as close to home as we can,” said Nachbaur.

Nachbaur invites individuals to savour different styles of locally crafted spirits that 1903 Craft Spirits distillery would have to offer.

“We are very proud of what we are building in our town and extremely excited to share our spirits with the community.”

A website and social media page for the 1903 Craft Spirits is being worked on.

 

Adam Nachbaur standing beside the 250L still holding 1903 Craft Spirits distillery’s Easy Vodka. Reeti Meenakshi Rohilla / Sylvan Lake News

Adam Nachbaur standing beside the 250L still holding 1903 Craft Spirits distillery’s Easy Vodka. Reeti Meenakshi Rohilla / Sylvan Lake News