SONS OF VANCOUVER
Up until a few years ago, we might have convinced you that Vancouver was still bound by the principles that were put in place during the prohibition. The recent changes to liquor laws, however, have been slowly modernizing the province’s alcohol consumption. This has brought on the recent proliferation of microbreweries, which have been popping up all over Vancouver. More recently, micro-distilleries have been taking advantage of this growing interest in local, small-scale production.
Located in North Vancouver, the Sons of Vancouver is one such distillery, which is dedicated to making good quality, local spirits. Cofounders Richard Klaus and James Lester are originally from Northern British Columbia, where they started learning to brew their own beer in junior high. After a series of events that included early “retirement” and traveling through Mexico, they relocated to Vancouver and decided to open a distillery together. They interned at distilleries in Washington and Portland until they were confident they knew enough to open their own.
After taking over a North Vancouver space in March 2014, the pair started a crowd-funding campaign on Indiegogo to outfit their tasting room. They officially opened their doors in February 2015, with a fully outfitted tasting room where they offer samples of their three products: amaretto, vodka, and chili vodka.
Amaretto No. 82 is named after the 81 failed attempts that came before it, and is the first craft amaretto in North America (that they know of). The pair like the simplicity of old fashioned drinks (like the Old Fashioned), but thought it could be done a little differently. Their amaretto is sweetened with Demerera, BC blackberry honey simple syrup, and a combination of apricot kernels, Bourbon vanilla beans and orange peel. If your mouth isn’t already watering, it pairs so perfectly with ice cream that they teamed up with Earnest Ice Cream to create the Cherry Amaretto Sundae.
Their vodka is equally original, made with BC spring wheat, malted barley and fermented with champagne yeast. The result is a smooth vodka unlike any other you’ve previously tried at your local bar. Finally, if you’re really adventurous (or like to make really good Ceasars), try the Chili Vodka – it’s infused with Thai Dragon chilies and carries enough punch to really wake you up in the morning (or afternoon, or evening…).
The Sons of Vancouver Tasting Room is open Saturday and Sunday from 1:00 to 7:00pm. If you’re not looking to cross the bridge though, their products are available all over the city – check out their website for locations.