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Alberta’s first craft distillery set to open in Turner Valley

CALGARY- The home of Canada’s first major oil strike will soon be home to a different kind of fuel.

Eau Claire distillery is setting up shop in Turner Valley’s old movie theatre on a street known as ‘Whiskey Row’ during Prohibition in the 1920s.

The new craft distillery will produce limited hand-crafted batches of whiskey, vodka and gin, using the latest technology from Germany.

Eau Claire Distillery is keeping its new labels a closely guarded secret, but says they will have a strong connection to the rich history of Turner Valley.

“[We will] have some core brands people can enjoy in a social setting,” says David Farran, the founder of Eau Claire Distillery and a former vice president of Big Rock Brewery. “We will introduce some unique Alberta seasonals and things that are a little more creative than you see today.”
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Local farmers will provide the facility with many of the grains needed including malting barley, rye, wheat and potatoes.

Many people in Turner Valley support the project, hoping it will draw even more visitors.

“We need it and are so happy to have it,” says Susan Green of the Chuckwagon Café. “They should be great customers, great neighours and we can’t wait to do the tasting.”

Eau Claire Distillery also plans to open a tasting facility, so people won’t have to sneak off into the woods to have their nip, as they were forced to do during Prohibition.