On today’s episode, I welcome Rick Pipes, Co-Owner and Head Distiller of Merridale Cidery & Distillery located on Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada. Today, we chat about how it all started, their philosophy on product development and sustainability, what craft gin means to them, of course their gins, and so much more.
About Merridale Cidery & Distillery
When you visit Merridale, you feel it – the atmosphere is friendly, easy, and joyful. Our farm is located at the end of a long, winding driveway past gently rolling hills that will put you in the mood to relax and enjoy the spaciousness and beautiful climate that Cowichan is known for. At certain times of year, you’ll pick up a light scent of apple blossoms on the breeze. It’s a sensory experience, much like our ciders and spirits.
Our approach is all about guiding nature’s process to develop high-quality, all-natural products that are farm crafted with a sense of character, curiosity and intrigue. We are committed to making craft cider by growing heritage cider apples and slow-fermenting the juice from the first apple pressing.
The unique flavours, notes, and tannins come from the ground where the apples are grown, the juice, skin, and seeds, and the natural fermenting and distilling processes. We do not create mixed beverages, but rather craft pure cider and spirits.
About Rick Pipes
Rick is a third-generation Vancouver Island entrepreneur. A practicing lawyer in Victoria for 25 years with a Business degree and a Law degree, Rick decided to trade law for the leisurely and laidback life of a country farmer (little did he know!). His subsequent education in fermentation and distillation science took him from Washington State to New England, the UK, France, and Spain. Like Janet, his wife, Rick has served and continues to serve on a number of community-based boards.
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