Troubled Monk Brewery recently released their very first vodka after finding success in the exploding craft beer market.
Co-founder Charlie Bredo said his team hopes to inspire people with their craft.
“When we make beverages, it is an expression of our creativity. Beer is one is one way to do that but there are so many options and fun things to explore like spirits, soda and different types of beer,” he said. “What really got us into spirits is looking into other avenues of having fun and making things for the community.”
While spirits are a new venture for Troubled Monk, Bredo wasn’t concerned about taking the plunge.
“On a smaller scale, it is about exploring what would happen if we started doing spirits and I don’t think there is a huge amount of risk when you do it at that level,” he said. “I think it is also a way to get our customers excited about the things we are doing. I think it plays into our culture and who we are.”
Troubled Monk held an event in early December to celebrate the launch, where Red Deerians could try out Troubled Spirit Vodka mixed in with signature cocktails
“The community has been so huge and supportive of us and that is the reason we have been able to grow,” Bredo said. “We launched this spirit, we are really excited and we are hopeful the community would embrace it and they have so far. Everyone has been enjoying it, they have been loving the cocktails. So far, so good.”
Bredo said the vodka is just the beginning of crafts his brewers want to try.
“We are hopefully coming out with a gin early in the new year and we are also looking at some fruit brandys for fun,” he said. “We want to make some whiskey. Canadian whiskey has to be made for three years, that will be awhile yet but we are starting the process early in the new year.”
Moving into spirits is also a way for Troubled Monk to stay competitive in an expanding market.
“Breweries have exploded in the province which is good and bad,” Bredo said. “It’s good because more people are drinking about craft beer, but it is starting to be a little concerning in the sense that there is a lot of breweries.
“I am not sure if the market share will support all these breweries, but in some ways that is better for the consumer because all of the breweries have to have better products.”
He added the spirits are a “fun new expression of what we are doing and it gives people an opportunity to taste craft spirits.”