The idea of craft distilleries had always intrigued Cary Bowman, the President of Lucky Bastard Distillers in Saskatoon, though his intrigue had certainly piqued while on a European vacation.
During his cross-Atlantic flight, he flipped through an article that focused on the growing popularity of micro-distilleries. The seed had been planted and would grow into a much larger plan during Cary’s stay in Europe, where micro-distilleries are commonplace.
Upon his return to Saskatchewan Cary met with friends, Michael Goldney and Lacey Crocker, and pitched the idea of opening their own distillery business.
Shortly thereafter, Lucky Bastard Distillers was born.
Lucky Bastard Distillers opened for business in May 2012. It was an historic feat, as it became the first distillery to operate in Saskatoon since prohibition.
“We were excited about it and super nervous at the same time. We didn’t know much about the business or how to make anything,” Cary said about the anticipation of the grand opening. “Are we doing it right? Is this business even going to turn into a viable business?”
Answers to those questions came pouring in as demand from the public quickly outgrew the original location (a 3,000-square-foot building on Avenue B North in Saskatoon).
Three years after it opened for business, Lucky Bastard moved its operations to a new, 15,000-square-foot facility, which expanded capacity tenfold and allowed for an expanded product line.
“I’m most proud of the culture we’ve created within our distillery,” Lacey said. “We have a group of employees who are really proud of our organization and what we’ve been able to accomplish.”
Lucky Bastard Distillers ranked fourth on USA Today’s list of top distilleries in Canada. It can manufacture up to 350,000 litres of product per year, most of which remain on the Prairies and are stocked by 300 bars and restaurants in Saskatchewan alone.
Written by Martin Charlton Communications