Great Gido’s Homebrew opened in 2017 in the Rural Municipality of Fish Creek, northeast of Saskatoon.
It submitted its work to the New York International Spirits Competition for 2020, which receives over 1,200 submissions from over 30 countries. There were about 50 entries from Canada this year, according to the competition.
Great Gido’s Homebrew took home gold twice for its premium brandy and triple sec, and silver for its absinthe, on top of the “best in Canada” prize.
“My face has been hurting from smiling so much,” laughed president Mark Holinarty, who admits he’s still in shock.
His winning premium holds a special place in his family.
“It’s my great gido’s recipe, passed down the generations, so I definitely have an attachment to that alcohol … (this win is) just amazing, to the point where it doesn’t seem real.”
The competition is judged by close to 20 trade buyers, according to founder Adam Levy.
“We only have trade buyers who are judging the spirit as if they’re buying for their business,” he explained.
Winners receive a medal, but Holinaty said he’s more excited for the opportunities a big win like this creates.
“It kind of opens up the door if I could find an importer to actually have my alcohol in the best places,” he said. “It’s just a real big win for me.”
Holinarty said he’s already been contacted by “one of the biggest distributors” and said he is optimistic about his business’ future.