RAW Distillery

RAW update

Big Announcements from RAW Distillery

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In case you’ve been wondering, we’ve got some BIG things in the works at RAW Distillery. We can’t leak all of the details just yet. But, in the meantime, we’ve got a couple of announcements that we think you might like. A new partnership, a new location, new products, a new program, and MORE. Let us give you a quick rundown.

RAW Distillery Has Officially Partnered with BLAKE Canmore


We have entered into an exciting and inspiring partnership with BLAKE Canmore which came about serendipitously and could not be more fitting. BLAKE’s slogan says it all: “EAT. EXPLORE. EXPERIENCE.” Experiential eating and drinking are of the utmost importance to us. We want to provide a tasting adventure from start to finish, whether you’re coming in to enjoy a food and beverage pairing or purchasing a bottle of our spirits to drink on your own, it’s an adventure through and through. RAW and BLAKE are both founded upon a passion for local ingredients, unparalleled quality, and providing the best of the best. Eat local, drink local, know exactly what you’re putting in your body, and enjoy flavours like never before. Accessible luxury is what we’re all about. This partnership extends far past shared goals and values, in fact, it now includes a shared space.

Our Brand New Space


Have you noticed the construction on the back of the BLAKE restaurant? That’s us! We’ve left our old location and will be opening the doors to our brand new location later in the spring. You can expect a tasting room, a whole lot of sunlight, distillery tours, and more. We can’t wait to share this space with all of you. Stay tuned for photos, more info, and opening dates. We know you’ll love it as much as we already do!

Craft Spirits and Beyond

Why stop at spirits? RAW is poised to begin producing our very own craft beer! Our beer will be unveiled at this year’s Canmore Uncorked Beer Festival and on taps at our new location to follow. As you’d expect, it’s local, sophisticated, yet uncomplicated. RAW brewing is coming your way!

RAW Lifestyle

Do you feel that you are living a RAW lifestyle? Perhaps you should apply to become a RAW ambassador! We will be launching a RAW ambassadorship program this summer in which individuals from the Bow Valley and beyond can apply to join our team. Those selected will get perks from booze and merch to event tickets. Stay tuned for application details.

So, what about RIGHT now? Good question. While we wait for our new location to open its doors, there are a few ways you can enjoy RAW spirits.

Tastings at BLAKE


We will be holding guided tastings every Friday and Saturday from 2:30 – 4:30 pm at BLAKE in their exclusive Loft for $12. Upgrade to include tastings of cocktail flights. You will receive 3 sample cocktails, 0.5oz each, for only $15. We’ve also got spring break tastings which are now opened up for booking next week, March 26-30th between 2:30-4:30! So, book your tasting today, either for spring break or any week following on a Friday or Saturday. www.rawspirits.ca/tours

Buy Some Spirits! 


Pop by BLAKE and purchase RAW spirits today or any day! We’ve got gin sample packs and full bottles of all of our spirits. We don’t know about you, but that sun sure does encourage getting a drink in hand. Can’t make it to Canmore? Ask for us at your local liquor store or buy online (insert link to online store)

We can’t tell you how excited we are for what’s to come. Thank you for your ongoing patience, love and support. Stay tuned!

RAW Distillery Set to Begin Production This Fall/Winter

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“Assuming AGLC licensing is successful, we are on track to meet the major milestones set out for this project” RAW Distillery founder Lindsay Smylie sat down recently to discuss the concept of their new distillery start-up. “ The momentum is overwhelming to us, the amount of people reaching out wanting to help make RAW a success has quite honestly caught us off guard” say’s Lindsay, speaking to the recent release of the RAW brand through an Alberta BoostR Campaign, website and social media launch.

“The biggest question we have been getting is why RAW? What is RAW going to do that’s different from everyone else? and it’s a fair question because there is no shortage of options on liquor store shelves” says Lindsay. “My answer to anyone asking why they should choose our RAW brand spirits is simple… we are a local option, support local” Lindsay adds that the bigger question is what makes us different? RAW is a brand that speaks to people’s emotions.

The RAW experience of tasting a variety of craft vodkas, gins, or whiskies is the goal for the RAW team. Encouraging customers to sample, for example, 4 different types of gin or vodka from 6 different base grains or botanicals can be an eye opener. “Our vision is to take that tasting one step further and guide our customers in a tasting experience where we will encourage customers to identify their own taste preferences. Our skilled team will then customize a spirit at our distillery based on personal feedback. It’s a unique concept that as far as we can tell is a niche not being met in western Canada. It’s something we are pretty excited about” says Lindsay.


To support Raw Distillery go to AlbertaBoostR to see the live crowd funding campaign.  For more information about RAW Distillery you can connect with them at info@rawspirits.ca or www.rawspirits.ca

New Calgary Distillery Start-Up Jumping Over Hurdles

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RAW Distillery is an emerging artisan spirits producer hoping to ride the wave of consumer interest in craft spirits. “Marketing spirits in today’s marketplace has to go beyond brand loyalty”. Says CEO and Distiller Lindsay Smylie, a local Calgarian who goes on to say “it’s about a tasting experience”. Lindsay, an executive consultant specializing in health care, was introduced to the spirits industry through her love of the craft beer scene. “If someone told me 4 years ago that gin was to become my full time passion. I would have laughed them right out of my office.”

Together with her husband Brad Smylie, a local fire fighter and beer brewer their dream is set to become a reality this fall. “There was a time not long ago that a start-up just couldn’t compete in this space, well that was also true of beer in the 90’s!”. Brad adds “people are looking for spirits that aren’t made in industrial sized ethanol refineries, our intention is to provide a local option, with local ingredient at a competitive price.” And adds “and we’re having fun doing it”.

RAW distillery was intending on converting an old brewery into a distillery in Canmore and be in production this fall. This brewery originally operated under the name Mountain Brewing Company in the 90’s and mainly produced lagers. “Our operations are projected to add 6-8 full time jobs in Alberta.” says Lindsay “The Canmore site was dusty and old, but it had character, this Reno just made sense to us.

We both identify with the Rocky Mountains and the culture. Extreme sports and mountain living are how we met and you’ll see that reflected in our branding.” Lindsay adds “RAW is more than a brand to us, it’s the emotion we are hoping to invoke when we introduce people to our craft.”

It was this location that has thrown these two entrepreneurs their first true roadblock. “With all the barriers to entry this Industry is known for, we knew starting up a business in this economic climate would not be an easy task. I guess we never anticipated negotiating the site with its owner was going to be a barrier to us” Say’s Lindsay speaking to the recent decision of RAW to relocate in Calgary. “Negotiations weren’t moving forward so we were faced with the hard decision to relocate”.
With change comes opportunity, “fortunately for us there is a lot of empty space in Calgary for lease with oil prices being what they are, it makes our start up more viable than it would have been in the boom.”.

RAW is set to launch an AlbertaBooster campaign this weekend to raise start-up capital to purchase oak barrels. To donate to the campaign go to www.rawspirits.ca or https://www.albertaboostr.ca

Brad, Lindsay and Distillery