The lights are on at After Dark Distillery and product is ready to roll out.
Sicamous’ first micro distillery, located at the corner of Main Street and Shuswap Avenue, opened its doors on March 25. A grand opening is scheduled for this Saturday, April 15. Local band Seal Skull Hammer will be performing, and everyone (of legal drinking age) is welcome to take a tour and try out the business’ alcoholic offerings. They currently specialize in vodka and a variety of flavoured moonshines including Mountain Dew, maple, peach, iced tea, lemonade and apple pie.
Asked if he has a favourite, After Dark owner and master distiller Dean Perry said he likes them all.
“I created them to my taste… And everybody seems to agree with it,” laughs Perry.
Transforming the former bowling alley and retail space into a fully-operational distillery has been about a year-long process. The building includes a warehouse in the back, the distillery in the middle and a storefront that includes product displays and a tasting area.
“We looked all over and this seemed to be the right location…,” said Perry, explaining what brought him from Grand Prairie, Alta. to Sicamous to set up shop. “There was this vacant building here right on Main Street that suited what we wanted to do so we approached the people who had it and they sold it to us and we moved forward.”
Classified as a “craft distillery,” After Dark is allowed to produce up to 50,000 litres of spirit per year. They are required to use 100 per cent B.C. agricultural products in the production of alcohol and fermentation must be completed onsite.
Perry said 20,000 litres would be a good start for After Dark’s first year. As for ingredients, he said his products are corn-based and sourced locally.
“We buy from farmers and local grain places within 100 miles of this area,” said Perry. “We support the community.
“We’re having old-style whiskey jugs being created for us out of Enderby. They’ll be just straight moonshine in those.”
After Dark Distillery’s offerings are currently only available at the storefront, but will be available elsewhere in the Shuswap soon.
“We are proceeding with building lots of quantity of each product and we will be going out in probably about another month or so and doing sales,” said Perry. “We’re going to go through Northern B.C. and sell all up there. And also locally, everybody is already after me locally for the product for the bars and stores.”
Despite having just opened, Perry is already looking to expand the current facility by adding another 2,600 square feet for warehouse/bottling space.
After Dark Distillery is open from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., Monday to Saturday and noon to 5 p.m. on Sundays.