Welcome to the distillery
Even before our distillery was built, many of the pieces were already in place: fertile fields to grow our barley, an aquifer to provide naturally filtered water and, of course, our magic ingredient: the crisp sea air compliments of the Salish Sea. With that enviable head start, we set out to complete the picture by building a world class facility, attracting skilled craftspeople and incorporating traditional Scottish distilling methods.
An Artisanal Approach
Shelter Point Distillery is, and always will be, an artisanal distillery. Right from the start, the concept has been quality over quantity, coexisting with nature and sourcing locally. This local-first philosophy extends beyond just building materials. In fact, Shelter Point is one of only a handful of distilleries that grow their own barley and distill on the same site. Virtually the only things that aren’t local are our oak barrels, which were sourced from Kentucky bourbon distillers, and the massive copper pot stills which came from Scotland. As far as our methodology goes, well, when you wait five years for a whisky to mature, you can’t help but learn to be patient. As a result, nothing is particularly hurried here. We took our time to get the distillery right, and we’re doing the same with everything else.
The Shelter Point Team
Founder and President
Patrick Evans: dreamer, visionary, tractor-driver. Yes, as founder and owner of Shelter Point, Patrick wears many hats — many of them at the same time. Part of a Comox farming dynasty, Patrick purchased the farm in 2005 with the intention of nurturing single-malt whisky and vodka, rather than dairy cows. Through thick and thin, he and his wife Kimm have seen the dream through, always sticking to their local-first and field-to-flask philosophy. Now that the Single Malt Whisky has been released and is garnering excellent reviews, Patrick can breathe a deep sigh of relief and hoist a glass of champagne for a change.
Director of Operations
James Marinus was born and raised in the Comox Valley and has worked in the agriculture industry for more than two decades. Spearheading multiple projects for the Evans family over the years has given James a well-rounded resume. This experience, combined with a love for architecture, is evident in every facet of the distillery’s details. James has helped manage the distillery project from the ground up, lending key aspects of design and functionality.
A whisky’s flavour and quality are determined by a number of things, but the three main factors are the barley, the water and the unique attributes of the equipment.
Equipped for Quality
To ensure we can create a premium quality spirit, we went to the source to acquire our copper pot stills. Forsyths of Rothes are the recognized experts — they supply many of the major distilleries in Scotland.
The equipment travelled on a long ocean voyage through the Panama Canal before being offloaded by US Customs, where it was subjected to a thorough inspection. After a delay of over a month, the pot stills were released from customs and arrived at their new home on Vancouver Island. It took over 200 hours of cleaning to bring them back to life.
We use American oak barrels, hand-selected from Kentucky Bourbon producers. Aging takes place within a few hundred yards of the ocean, which imparts a wonderfully unique flavour to the whisky. The whole process is fascinating, and the distillery has been specially constructed so visitors can tour the facility and get an up-close view of the process and the final product.
Complimentary Tours, Tastings and our Gift Shop
If you think we’d go to all the trouble of building what is only the second single malt distillery in Canada without showing it off, you’d clearly be mistaken. We’re extremely proud of what we’ve achieved and are eager to have you see and taste the fruits of our labour. Tours and tastings are free (yes, free) and happen Wednesday to Sunday from 12 noon to 5pm. Private tours are available too – please contact us for more information. Once you’ve been here and done that, of course, you’ll need to get the t-shirt… or the hat or the glass. For that, you’re welcome to visit our fully stocked gift shop. Our gift shop is open Wednesday through Sunday from noon to 5pm.
Tours & tastings
Drop in, do some tasting, take a tour or visit the gift shop to get some 'spirited gifts' to enjoy at home.
At the farm
Shelter Point Distillery
4650 Regent Road
Campbell River, BC
V9H 1E3 Canada