What did you do before creating your gin/distillery?
Jason has spent the previous 23 years as a globetrotting professional and private chef working all throughout North America, Asia and the Middle East, feeding princes and presidents and working in Michelin starred restaurants. He brings an incredible palate of flavours and taste profiles to our spirits. You can have millions of dollars’ worth of equipment, but if you don't have the vast knowledge of how different botanicals compliment or counteract with each other, you cannot produce recipes for the best spirits.
Alayne brings a decade plus of sales and marketing experience from the high-end apparel business, being Canada’s number one wholesaler for its denim producer. Her capacity to look forward into the future and address concerns before they arise or direct the company down paths leading to rocket-like growth are legendary. She's all business and he's all creative. A perfect team.
What made you decide to create your gin, and what's the inspiration behind them?
Seaside gin was inspired by a walk along the west coast shores of Vancouver Island. The idea was to create a gin with a sense of terroir and feel of the region. The west coast forest, sweet and salty sea air, and the floral aroma that arises from the wildflowers along the shoreline make for a multi-layered, spirit unlike any other.
Can you tell us more about the distillery?
The distilling floor is comprised of many fermenting tanks, three stills and a myriad of overhead plumbing connecting it all together. The three stills are arranged next to each other for easy movement of liquid between them all, leading to the last still, the aromatic or gin still. The bell shaped, shiny copper still looks straight out of a steam punk or Jules Verne novel.
Can you tell us more about your distillation process and the botanicals you use?
In the gin still the botanicals, which are wrapped up in cheesecloth teabag-like bags, are soaked overnight. The next morning the still is fired up and the fluid gas, passed through the vapour chamber, then on to the condenser to be turned back into liquid form, as a high ABV gin spirit.
When producing our Asian-inspired Kazuki Gin, the vapour chamber's basket is filled with cherry blossom and tea flower petals, allowing for maximum flavour transfer. Botanicals for the Seaside Gin include: juniper, coriander, kelp, lavender, rose petals, lemon, orange, cardamom, orris root and angelica. Botanicals for Kazuki Gin include: juniper, coriander, green tea, green tea flowers, cherry blossom petals, dried yuzu and grapefruit, grains of paradise, angelica, and orris root.
What can guests expect and experience if they visit the distillery?
Our guests can expect a family-style welcome in a humble distillery, not far from the ocean on the wild and rugged coastline of Vancouver Island. We love showing our guests around! We’ll invite people on a complimentary tour of our distillery with a rundown on how our unique spirits are crafted from start to finish, without giving away some trade secrets of course! We also provide a complimentary tasting of our current spirits and seasonal spirits, along with stories from Jason and Alayne about the distillery itself, its history, and how our distinctive variety of botanicals in our spirits came to be.
What have been the biggest challenges and achievements so far?
Being a husband and wife working alone as business partners has had its challenging moments in the earlier years! Our dream team has had to overcome numerous challenges together and work tirelessly to grow a successful business, from two people to now dozens, and along the way we grew closer to one another.
Which gins would you always have on your gin shelf (other than your own of course!)?
Odd Society Wallflower Gin, Monashee Spirits Ethos Gin, Dubh Glas Noteworthy Gin, Ki No Bi Gin.
What's next for you and Sheringham Distillery - any exciting plans?
This year (2021) we will release a London Dry style gin, and the seasonal releases of a Lemon Gin Liqueur and re-release the Rhubarb Gin Liqueur, which was so successful people have been hoarding the spirit and asking weekly when it will return!