Yes, we got busy again. We have some very big news coming up in the next few weeks but in the meantime, we thought we’d give you a bit of a recap about what’s been going on with Jones Distilling and Mountain View School since we opened. This piece first appeared in The Mountaineer.
HISTORIC LANDMARK TO HUB OF ACTIVITY
A project that involved over 130 people, helped create nearly 60 jobs, and served as a home for multiple start-ups isn’t slowing down anytime soon.
It’s been over a year since Jones Distilling first opened the doors of the historic Mountain View School and began welcoming the public in for a taste of their premium (now multiple international award-winning) Mr. Jones Vodka. It would be an understatement to say that things have been busy at 616 Third Street West since work at the landmark building first started.
The journey to opening was a long but rewarding one for the distillery. When the plan for Jones Distilling was first conceived, the city’s bylaws did not allow for its operation. With much discussion with the mayor, council, and city staff, the bylaws were changed, paving the way for Jones Distilling and other craft distillers in the area.
After months of renovations to the old school, taking its historical status into consideration, the Jones Distilling team got production up and running, opened a tasting room for the public, and established Third Street Offices, a co-working and private office space on the upper level of the building.
Now a hub of activity, the revitalized heritage building has become home to the Old School Eatery – a restaurant serving up sophisticated comfort food – and several businesses in Third Street Offices, including Parks Canada, The Sacred Body, Shearing Environmental and many more. By Jones Distilling owner Gareth Jones’s estimation, having this space available for new businesses has resulted in the creation of around 60 new jobs for the community.
“I’d like to thank the school board for their help with this, as well as members of the Revelstoke community for their support,” Jones said.
“We had the help of over 130 people bringing the building back to life. Mountain View School is a landmark and we’re happy to have played a part in preserving it and having it be a vibrant part of the community once again.”
The distillery itself is making waves as well. This year alone, they’ve added two products to their line of quality, craft spirits: Gin No. 1 and Sweet Spot.
Sweet Spot is a seasonal drink made with local fruits and international botanics and is meant to be mixed with tonic or lemonade. The unique spirit has been a favourite among many dropping by the tasting room throughout the summer, and no wonder. Head distiller Megan Moore created something truly special with this one, developing an entirely new category of spirit, calling it an alcoholic botanical cordial.
The winter counterpart to Sweet Spot, Go Big or Go Gnome, won at the international SIP Awards, landing the distillery distinctions for taste, product design and innovation.
With wins for their gin and vodka as well, the distillery now boasts a total of nine SIP Awards. Mr. Jones Vodka beat its 2018 performance with a silver medal for taste and gold for product design. The first gin in Jones Distilling’s Revelstoke Series also held its own at the awards, bringing in a bronze medal for product design and double gold for taste.
This year also saw the creation of the Canadian Gin Guild, an entity separate from Jones Distilling, which runs a series of events hosted at the distillery. Guests can enjoy a tour & tasting; a course about the botanics that go into the making of gin; or the experience of creating their own gin, the first experience of its kind in Canada.
Even with such an eventful year so far, Jones Distilling shows no signs of slowing down. The coming winter season will see the release of Go Big or Go Gnome and the second gin of the Revelstoke Series.
“We’re so excited to continue growing in Revelstoke and beyond,” Jones said. “We have a lot to share with spirit lovers and more that we want to contribute to the market of locally-produced craft alcohol. Our future here is very promising.”