Alberta distillery strikes up big deal with Canadian airline

Click to play video: 'The Fort Distillery strikes up big cocktail deal with Porter Airlines'
The Fort Distillery strikes up big cocktail deal with Porter Airlines
Starting in February, The Fort Distillery's ready-to-serve margaritas, old fashioneds and martinis will be available for purchase on long-haul flights with Porter Airlines. As Sarah Ryan explains, it's a huge win for the Fort Saskatchewan business – Jan 20, 2023

A small local distillery from Fort Saskatchewan, Alta., hit a home run by landing a major partnership with Porter Airlines.

“This is massive for us. It’s kind of a dream come true,” said the founder of the Fort Distillery, Nathan Flim.

The Fort Distillery’s Tumbler & Rocks ready-to-serve cocktails will be available to passengers flying with Porter starting on Feb. 1.

The Tumbler & Rocks collection includes pre-mixed classic drinks like the old fashioned, martini and margarita and their alcohol content ranges between 20 to 35 per cent.

“So you’ve got your old fashioned, right, which is whiskey based. You’ve got your martini, which is a classic gin martini. And then the margarita – that’s just an awesome summer drink,” Flim said.

“The brand just really works well on an airline, because it’s a single serve. It’s everything is in there. You just put it over ice and you’re good to go.”

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The Fort Distillery got its start in 2018 as a husband and wife business.

“I was 25,” Flim explained. “It was basically just me doing all this stuff on my own. And it’s hard to imagine where we’ve come.”

Today they have around 25 employees and this deal with Porter is expected to increase their production five-fold this year.

“It’s a massive increase in production and revenue obviously. So it allow us to hire more local staff, keep using more local ingredients and just bring more economic benefit to Canada and to Alberta, and Edmonton region.”

READ MORE: Public service strike leads to boom for B.C.’s craft distilleries

Porter recently announced an entirely new lineup of in-flight services “with an emphasis on partnering with high-quality Canadian brands.”

“All of our food and beverage partners are Canadian, deeply passionate about their craft and have strong relationships within their communities,” said Kevin Jackson, Porter’s executive vice president and chief commercial officer.

“With a focus on high-quality products, generous service and competitive prices, our passengers will experience economy air travel in a way that no other airline is offering.”

The Tumbler & Rocks brand cocktails will be free to passengers if they’re flying with Porter’s all-inclusive business class seats dubbed “reserve,” but all passengers will be able to purchase the cocktails.

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