Steinhart Distillery may be based in a small rural community in Antigonish County, but its spirits are rated amongst the best in the world. Less than six months after taking home medals at the 2016 San Francisco World Spirits Competition, Steinhart Distillery rose to the top of the podium at the New York World Wine and Spirits Competition held last month. At the prestigious competition, Steinhart won two gold medals for their Steinhart Maple and Steinhart Habanero, and a silver for their gin.
The distillery, which crafts artisanal spirits from Maritime grown winter wheat, is the brainchild of Thomas Steinhart, who says of the decision to produce artisanal spirits in small town Nova Scotia came naturally.
“Where I come from in Germany, there are a lot of small distillers who make eau de vie (they call it Schnapps). Basically, Schnapps can be any kind of fruit that is fermented and then distilled, with nothing added. Given my family’s distilling heritage and tradition, it made it easier.”
The recognition from some of the world’s important critics is a source of pride for Steinhart, who notes, “it is very important to me since it says that professional sommeliers and industry professionals agree that we make an outstanding product.”
The accolades, no doubt, help draw interested Nova Scotians and tourists to their small distillery. “We are in the Doers & Dreamers guide, are a member of Taste of Nova Scotia, and participate in the Good Cheer Trail. We host groups for weddings or family reunions, and even invite people to learn about the process by doing hands-on distilling demonstrations.”
The distillery provides visitors the opportunity to distill their own two liter batch of gin or vodka. A sort of immersion style class that Steinhart refers to as his ‘ginstitute.’
As for the future of other Nova Scotia-based artisanal distilleries, Steinhart sees lots of opportunities, as he says, “the market is more than good enough to handle more local distilleries, breweries and wineries,” evidenced by the increasing number of shelf placement of local spirits at NSLC stores, which includes Steinhart Maple, Steinhart Organic and Steinhart Gin.
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- Steinhart Maple, 750 ml
- Steinhart Organic, 750 ml $49.98
- Steinhart Gin, 500 ml $35.00