Mainland Whisky founder, Steve Watts, has taken the term “Canadian Whisky” and flipped it on its head! After spending time in Texas and realizing that the whisky he was used to drinking wasn’t being made in Canada he decided to try his hand at distilling his own. He learned the fundamentals of distilling spirits, and building stills, in a small farmhouse in the middle of the Texas bush and the rest, as they say, is history. Mainland Whisky opened their Tasting Lounge in South Surrey in December 2019 and hasn’t looked back since.
Hand-crafted, made in small batches and never chill-filtered, their whisky honours traditional moonshine practices, and their unique recipes highlight BC organic corn and barley.
Mainland’s whisky is reminiscent of bourbon, but because it’s made in Canada, it needs to be called corn whisky. According to “bourbon law”, bourbon must not only be made from a grain mixture that is at least 51% corn, but it also must be made in the United States. Who knew!?
Stop in for an expertly crafted cocktail at the speak-easy lounge, nestled in the Campbell Heights Business Park, there is a new cocktail list monthly. And get a look at the 1000 litre hybrid reflux whisky still, while you’re sipping the whisky made in the still. Or settle into a seat on the sunny patio and enjoy dinner from a local chef or food truck and one of those awesome cocktails.
Whisky education is important to the team at Mainland Whisky, and tours are available to educate visitors about how corn whisky is made – from grain to glass.
Mainland has 4 styles of whisky available for purchase, with their “Straight Whisky”, a 2-year corn whisky, coming soon.
A sweet, clear whisky with hints of grass, pineapple and bubblegum.
Imagine an onslaught of spice taking hold of your favourite corn whisky. Sip it or mix it with anything. Think Fireball, but without the additives, caramel colouring, added sugar or glycerin!
Wild Rose Whisky Liqueur
Corn whisky infused with wild rose petals delivers a bottle of floral, chocolate sweetness. According to the folks at Mainland, this liqueur has “converted more self-professed “non-whisky drinkers” than we have time to shake a stick at.”
Cherry Whisky Cordial
Made with BC cherries (there’s a ½ lb of cherries in each bottle), and organic corn and malted barley from Armstrong, BC, the Cherry Whisky Cordial is their infamous drunk cherry juice, bottled. Use it in a cocktail, or drink it straight over ice.