Southern Alberta Newspapers
A southeast Alberta craft distillery has been bestowed 10 awards for excellence in the 2022 Canadian Artisan Spirit Competition.
Pivot Spirits, located in Rolling Hills, earned three gold, three silver and four bronze awards, alongside medals for distinctions, excellence and merit.
“It feels so good,” Pivot Spirits founder and co-owner Lars Hirch said of the win. “I’ve won more awards and gained more recognition for the quality of my spirits to this point in my distilling career than I thought was going to be possible.
“The Canadian Artisan Spirits Competition is the one that I’m most proud to achieve good recognition in because it’s (organized through) the Artisan Distillers of Canada. So, it’s my peers in the in the industry – small producers who are using products from their areas to create high-quality, premium spirits.”
Hirch is particularly proud as Pivot Spirits is the only distillery from southern Alberta to place in the competition, and is one of the few to farm its own grains on irrigated land.
“The productivity in irrigated agriculture is so large and the unique products that we can produce here are really quite novel,” said Hirch. “So, I wanted to bring attention to (all) we can create here in the irrigation district of southern Alberta.
As well as growing his own grains, Hirch also incorporates other locally-sourced ingredients into his spirits, such as haskap berries from Nobleford and beet molasses from Taber.
Locally-sourced ingredients are also central to the dishes offered at the distillery’s attached restaurant, which operates from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday to Thursday.