Urban Distilleries

Mike Spurgeon, president of Urban Distilleries and Winery, holds up bottles of gin in front of the distillery’s main still. After moving to the Westside more than two years ago, Urban Distilleries and Winery is now open for tastings and retail sales.

It has taken more than two years, but Urban Distilleries and Winery finally opened their doors on the Westside at the beginning of August following their move from Kelowna in early 2019.

“It’s taken a lot of time, it’s been a lot of energy,” said Mike Spurgeon, president of Urban Distilleries. “But we’re here, that’s all that counts.”

Urban Distilleries, whose Old Okanagan Highway location has high visibility from Highway 97, currently offers tastings and retail sales.

When guest first walk into Urban Distilleries, they can see the gleaming main still where the distillery makes whiskies and vodkas. Off to the side are the gin still, fermenters and lots of barrels.

While Urban Distilleries isn’t planning on offering formal tours until at least next year, Spurgeon said if it’s not busy, he will take

people in and explain and answer questions.

Urban Distilleries had just over 5,000 square feet of space in their former location in Kelowna.

The main floor of their new space in the former Sears Hometown location is about 12,000 square feet with a basement and the undeveloped second floor.

With the extra space, Urban Distilleries is putting in a spacious lounge where guests can sit down to unwind, enjoy a drink and order food from a tapas-style menu.

Spurgeon is hoping to have the lounge open in two months.

Urban Distilleries has been in business for 10 years and offers many products. Its big brand is its Spirit Bear brand, which offers gin and vodka.

“Our gin is probably our single-most popular product,” said Spurgeon, adding that a portion of the proceeds of anything sold under the Spirit Bear brand goes to the support the environment for the Spirit Bear.

Oddly enough, Spurgeon said another one of their big sellers is Dill Pickle Vodka, which is used in making the Caesar, Canada’s national drink.

“It only makes one drink, but it does it well,” he said.

Other flavoured vodkas at Urban Distilleries include Peri Peri Chili, which Spurgeon said has “got a bite.”

Urban Distilleries also offers whisky styles, fruit liqueurs and honey mead wines, which are fortified dessert wines somewhat like an ice or late-harvest wine.

Then there are the other items you can pick up for your bar, including glasses, shakers, a full line of bitters and even cocktail olives for your martinis

Urban Distilleries is open from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily.