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This article was published 16/2/2018 (1556 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
A local distiller is getting tipsy with success.
Capital K, a St. James-based distiller that offers locally-made gin and vodka, has come out of a national competition with flying colours. Owner Jason Kang and his team submitted four of their products, all of which received top awards.
Capital K’s Tall Grass vodka received gold, their gin won silver, their dill pickle vodka received silver and their espresso vodka received bronze at the Canadian Artisan Spirit Competition.
"It means a lot to us," Kang said. "Even before, we were very confident about our product, because people were drinking it, and saying this is great… but still, we needed something more, like on paper, to prove to other customers or general public to say we have this proof, or approval from the professional level, so this is pretty much it."
Kang says that while they were happy to see their dill pickle vodka win gold at the Manitoba Food Fight competition, the CASC is national and is specifically intended to judge spirits, in what Kang says is a very fair process.
"They have eight judges from different categories and they do blind tasting, so they repack every product into small tasting bottles," Kang said.
The judges make their choices without consulting each other, before coming together to determine an average result. Over 50 distilleries from throughout Canada took part, each submitting several samples, and Kang estimates hundreds of entries. He hopes the recognition will make his business better known to Manitobans.
"In general, people are not looking for local spirits because they don’t think we have it here," Kang said. "They’re surprised in the beginning and once they take the tour, most will be amazing by the whole process. The process we have is nothing fancy, just the traditional way, but not many people have seen it before."
Kang says that because the distillery is on a fairly small scale, visitors can see the "whole picture," from raw grains to bottle. Soon, they will be branching out to include rum and whisky in their production line.
"I assume the rum and whisky drinkers will be a slightly different group than the gin and vodka drinkers," Kang said. "For a lot of people, they think, I already had my long day, I just want to sit and relax, have my whisky or my rum in a glass, bit of ice, and I can enjoy it right away."
He added that for those who like to drink vodka and gin in cocktails, Capital K is offering a cocktail class which will teach participants about what goes into a cocktail, how to make a few at home and how to order them at a restaurant.
"That’s the whole point — have fun, try different things," Kang said.
For more information on classes or products, visit capitalkdistillery.com
Community journalist — The Metro
Alana Trachenko was the community journalist for The Metro