How did Sons of Vancouver begin? Where did the inspiration for the business as a whole come from and how was your name developed?
Richard Klaus and Myself are the Owners of Sons of Vancouver. We previously bartended and as a hobby, brewed beer together. Over time we found ourselves drinking and making delicious beer but serving the same cocktails over and over. We saw the opportunity in its infancy and jumped on it. Sons of Vancouver is a name we felt would travel well and was something cool we could get behind.
In your opinion, what are the differences in artisanal distilleries versus larger scale distilleries?*
Innovation. Rarely do you see a large distillery release a new product that isn’t just an ‘Apple’ or ‘Cinnamon’ variant of its current product line. Large distilleries are stuck in the same process for many reasons, but it mainly comes down to the people making the products are not the ones dreaming them up.
How was your distillery school brought to life? How has what is offered developed, and where do you see it going in the future?
We had enough people asking us how we got started and if they could come in and train with us. Additionally it was selfish – I want to see a lot more variety in spirits out of BC so we push people to branch out from Vodkas.
What process do you go through to pair the names of your spirits with label designs?
The hardest part is knowing what you want a product to taste like before you start out making it. From there we have a list of cool names, some of them may never see the light of day, and we try to pair them with the product and build a brand and market off that.
Why is it important for you to have free samples in your tasting room? What can customers expect when they visit?
Free samples are such a small thing but its important because its approachable to everyone. We could charge for samples, but it’s the little things that make an experience memorable and make a customer want to come back again with a friend.
Is there anything about your company or products that you would want customers to know?
I would like to say that there are only three of us that work in the company and if you run into us at a farmers market don’t hesitate to chat us up. Everyone who you see at the markets works in the distillery and we are full of cocktail ideas. Additionally, Richard is an incredible dancer and you can find him every Thursday at the German Club on Victoria and 33rd dancing up a storm.