BC Distilled 2017 Recap

Photo: Victoria Black of  www.wildheartscollective.com

Photo: Victoria Black of  www.wildheartscollective.com

 

BC Distilled Audience Favourites

Two new categories were added this year - Barrel-Aged Gins and Whisky. 

  • Apéritif or Digestif - Sheringham Distillery Akvavit
  • Barrel-Aged Gin - Odd Society Spirits Oaken Gin
  • Barrel-Aged Spirits (this is a catch-all category for aged spirits other than those with their own category) - de Vine Spirits Honey Shine
  • Brandy - Long Table Distillery cooperation with Deep Cove Brewers & Distillers - VSOP Reserve Pairs of Pears Brandy
  • Flavoured, Infused, or Barrel-aged Vodka - Sons of Vancouver Chili Vodka (winner 2016)
  • Gin - Ampersand Distilling Co Ampersand Gin (winner 2016)
  • Liqueur - Sons of Vancouver Amaretto (winner 2015, 2016)
  • Un-aged “Whisky” - Odd Society Spirits Mongrel
  • Vodka - Ampersand Distilling Co Per Se Vodka (winner 2016)
  • Whisky - Okanagan Spirits Craft Distillery BRBN Bourbon-style Corn Whisky

Other Survey Insights

Food

This gets its own section as it generated a lot of feedback, positive and negative.

There's no question that people love the food, but as was the case last year, the number one complaint is that there wasn't enough. Last year we had five restaurants, and this year we had six (plus pickles!). Some thoughts:

  • Getting restaurants to participate is one of the biggest challenges of the show. It represents a considerable commitment of resources for them, and most restaurants can't or aren't willing to do spend the time and money it takes to participate.
  • I tried to get food trucks in this year but had no luck. I've learned some things and will probably try again next year.
  • Broadly, the cost of bringing in more food is prohibitive. I could bring in a caterer but it the festival's budget doesn't support it.
  • I'll continue to try to find a way to get in more food at a reasonable cost.

Other Notes

  • The Venue: The increase in space was appreciated. The show is getting close to capacity at this location - I'll be looking for something else, but it is extremely difficult to find a space which fits the needs of BC Distilled. We may end up back at the same place next year.
  • Pacific Assistance Dogs Society: The presence of PADS dogs stole the show again! We raised almost $4,000 for them this year through the 50/50 draw, the silent auction, and a portion of ticket sales.
  • Atmosphere: There were a lot of comments on the overall vibe of the show and how much people like it. Related to this is the fact that we don't charge for samples, which I think reduces consumption as people don't feel an obligation to finish each spirit to 'get their money's worth'.
  • Glassware: There was a general recognition that this glassware wasn't the most appropriate for the format. They would work for sitting at home sipping on something, but given the size of the spirits samples and the shape of the glass, most people would rather not use them at an event like this.  

A Few Other Notes

  • The festival sold out. Well, ticket cutoff was at 5pm on Saturday, at which point there was one ticket left for sale. I'll call that a sellout.
  • 26 awesome volunteers helped make this show happen. The wonderful gentlemen at Sons of Vancouver and The Dubh Glas Distillery kindly donated product to add to our gift bags. It's the best volunteer gig in town!
  • Our sponsors provided a huge amount of help in making the show happen, and I want to thank them one more time.