PEI Liquor - Celebrate Spring 2019
Even though the apple trees at Deep Roots Distillery are bare, that doesn’t mean early spring is a time to sit back and watch the flower buds come out. Mike and Carol Beamish are hard at work this season getting ready for the busiest time of year at their farm and distillery. What started as a 200-tree apple orchard in 1990 has been growing strong ever since; they now tend over 2 acres of trees and they’re also certified organic. Mike was inspired to start his new business in 2012 and after attending a distilling workshop at BioFoodTech, the idea of opening his own distillery started to “ferment”. In July 2014, their signature “Island Tide” spirit was released and was soon followed by their Maple, Blueberry, Haskaap and Spiced Apple liqueurs, Apple Brandy, Apple Ice Wine and an award-winning Absinthe. Deep Roots uses locally-grown produce from all over PEI and even a little from Nova Scotia to keep up with demand. Most of their products are made by distilling pure cane sugar into a neutral white spirit, and are then blended with local blueberries, haskaap (camerise) berries, apples and spices, and even local maple syrup from their sons’ small-batch Maple operation. They also use some of the “seconds” from their orchard and from other local apple growers to ferment various kinds of apples into their apple brandy, or into apple ice wine. This means that many of the clean, non-bruised apples that are too small or misshapen to be sold as eating apples won’t go to waste. Instead, they’re given a new life as delicious spirits. Their apple brandy is aged in oak barrels for two years for a well-balanced, aromatic, smooth and rich spirit. As a bonus, the empty brandy barrels are then passed on to Hazel Grove Sugar
Shack, the same operation that supplies the maple syrup for their Maple Liqueur, who in turn use them to create their Brandy Barrel Aged Maple Syrup. Mike has some great ideas for pairing their products with some Island ingredients. Many of their liqueurs are on the sweeter side, so they make a great ice cream topper! They are also delicious swirled into coffee or tea, added as a “dosage” to champagne, or incorporated into dessert sauces. Their apple ice wine is a lovely pair for smoked and blue cheeses. Mike especially recommends their Island Tide as the base for a classic Caesar, as it’s neutral-tasting with enough of an edge to add a really unique character. As the seasons change this spring, Mike and Carol will be busy with the yearly task of pruning the trees in their orchard. They are also busy distilling their spirits before the weather turns warm, so the cooler temperatures can help with the passive cool- ing system required in the distilling pro cess. The summer is their busiest time of year, with an orchard to maintain and plenty of visitors stopping by their beautiful prop- erty and distillery to take a tour and pick up a couple of bottles from their shop. The farm and shop is open to the public from June to October, where they offer tours, tastings and exclusive products. Mike and Carol also have a stall at the Charlottetown farmers market for most of the year. Visit them online or stop in for a visit to experience some true Island flavours and hospitality!
28 CELEBRATE SPRING 2019
*Limited Time Offers from May 15 - June 18
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