Deep Roots Distillery
Deep Roots Distillery was incorporated in November 2013, in Warren Grove, PEI. Mike and Carol Beamish founded the company as an offshoot of their family’s certified organic apple orchard. After eighteen months of planning and research, Deep Roots Distillery was licenced by the PEI Liquor Control Commission in June 2014. Its first product was on the market in July of the same year; a cane-sugar spirit, Island Tide. Deep Roots now has three products available for sale in PEI, including Island Tide, a Maple Liqueur, and a Blue Berry Eau de Vie.
The transition from the orchard, which is still in operation, to the distillery didn’t happen overnight. Initially, the idea was simply to produce value-added products to utilize the excess fallen apples from the Beamish family orchard. In the fall of 2011, they engaged in a contribution agreement with BioFoodTech, an Innoventures Canada consortium member organization assisting Canadian companies in commercializing their research, for the purpose of scaling up the production of apple butter. BioFoodTech, located in Charlottetown, PEI, provides contract research, processing, and analytical services to its clients. With some further research, the Beamish family determined that the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) also allows fallen apples to be used for alcoholic products. The idea of operating a distillery, to further produce value-added products, began to formalize in 2012 during a chance discussion with Dr. Jim Smith, Executive Director of BioFoodTech.
“We would have had a hard time getting started without the type of support BioFoodTech provided. It would have been a lot more intimidating to learn the craft without the expertise of BioFoodTech behind us. Our bottles now sit on the same shelf next to the products of established distilleries such as Seagrams and Bacardi, which would have been unthinkable only a few years ago. The PEI Liquor Control Commission took us much more seriously because of our involvement with BioFoodTech. Without them [BioFoodTech], we would not be where we are today.”
Mike Beamish, President, Deep Roots Distillery
BioFoodTech was interested in assisting and growing the craft wine, beer, and distilled spirits industry on the island, and worked with Innovation PEI and the Artisan Craft Distilling Institute in Washington State to bring a weeklong training workshop to PEI in February 2013. “I had no idea where to start,” says Beamish, “but it [the training workshop] provided us with enough information to get off the ground, and the confidence to open up shop.” Following the workshop, the Beamish family began the process of applying for its liquor licence with the province of PEI.
Deep Roots Distillery has growth aspirations, and is looking to expand into international markets with new products in the years ahead. BioFoodTech will continue to be its preferred partner for preparing its products, through filtration and consistency testing, to ensure they are suitable for export outside of PEI moving forward. I have reviewed this document and release its content to Innoventures Canada and BioFoodTech for the purpose of impact reporting.
CEO, Deep Roots Distillery