Nestled about halfway up the eastern coast of Vancouver Island in Oyster River, BC, lies the most picturesque 380-acre seaside farm you’ve probably never heard of, and better yet, they craft whisky. In 2005, Patrick Evans, the owner of Shelter Point Farm and Distillery and third generation farmer, began his pursuit to create quality artisanal spirits that fully embodied the sea and soil of the island. 

Shelter Point manager Jacob Wiebe says  that Evans’ obsession with world-class quality is now shared by everyone who has a hand in the process. “We’ve all got that farmer mentality that there never really is enough work.”

Patience and perseverance have brought Shelter Point national and international attention as they continue to expand their craft into vodka and gin.

An artisanal dream  

Shelter Point distiller Leon Webb says that it’s their artisanal process that makes them unique. “Field-to-flask is the journey of our grain,” he says. For many of their spirits, Shelter Point sees their product all the way from the field, to milling, mashing, fermenting, distilling, maturing, and bottling almost all on the same site.

Patience and perseverance have brought Shelter Point national and international attention as they continue to expand their craft into vodka and gin.

Webb attributes the spirit’s flavour to the copper pot stills they use for distilling, as well as their one-kilometre proximity to the Salish Sea. “We get storms through the winter and a lovely coastal breeze most of the summer,” he says. “That salty sea air comes through beautifully in the whisky.”

Shelter Point’s field-to-flask mantra is truly evident in one of the newest additions to their spirit family: gin. Webb says the botanical infusions in the spirit were hand-foraged to embody the land the grain was grown on, with some of the botanicals being grown on-site at Shelter Point Distillery. 

More than single malt

Wiebe believes that Shelter Point is more than a distillery — it’s a destination. 

“It’s quite a sight to see and something you need to experience to understand,” he says. 

To experience the sea, the soil, and the spirits, full tours are available to all Wednesday through Sunday from 12pm to 5pm, and tastings are available seven days a week at the same time. Shelter Point offers each of these experiences for free to anyone willing to make the journey. 

If you’d rather have a sip on your own front porch, Shelter Point spirits are available at many private liquor stores across BC and the Prairie Provinces. To find a full list of these locations or to order Shelter Point spirits to your front door, visit Shelter Point’s website. Your escape is waiting.

 

Shelter Point's offerings
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