Appellation reserved for spirits 100% quebec

News 22 December, 2017
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    Catherine Montambeault

    Friday, 22 December 2017 21:12

    Friday, 22 December 2017 21:12

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    Of distilleurs that manufacture spirits 100 % québécois is delighted that the Société des alcools du Québec will distinguish their products from those that are not fully local.

    Very little of spirits, quebecers actually contain alcohol from here. In fact, the vast majority of those sold to the Société des alcools du Québec (SAQ) is produced from a base of neutral alcohol purchased in Ontario.

    This is the case, among others, of the PURE Vodka, spirit products Ungava and gin Pick Henricus of the microdistillerie Subversives.

    This option allows you to distilleurs to realize substantial savings. In comparison, the neutral alcohol distilled in an industrial process by the giant ontario Greenfield sells for about $ 4 a litre, whereas producing the same amount of alcohol in the traditional way can cost up to $18.

    Few producers have the choice to create their alcohol from grains of quebec. But since 2014, they do not get any marketing advantage to the SAQ, since the State-owned company brought together all of the spirits are bottled here under the name ” Origin Quebec “.


    By next summer, this situation will be of the past since this banner will now be reserved for spirits containing a majority of ingredients from Québec. Products made with alcohol distilled in the next province will be presented, therefore, as a canadian, and not quebec.

    “We are very happy with it, welcomes Eric Lafrance, president of the Association of distilleries artisanales du Québec (ADAQ). Because currently, you can buy a whisky alien who has been bottled here, and that is sold as a product in us. This is not normal. “

    Stéphane Denis, director of accounts at the SAQ, explains that the spirits industry is booming in Quebec. The corporation has therefore had to adapt to new market trends.

    “Things have changed enormously in the past few years, says Mr Denis. At this time, we try to refine our definition of what is a spirits of Quebec. “


    “We would like to create an in-between, between “Origin Quebec” and “canadian product”. We are working on this with the industry, ” he adds.

    There are barely a year old, no distillery in quebec did not produce it-even its basics. The microdistillerie urban Cirka has been the first to offer a gin and a vodka made entirely here, the cooking of the grain to the distillation.

    “We wanted to control the process from A to Z, and we find that the quality of the ingredients makes all the difference in the quality of the final product “, said JoAnne Gaudreau, one of three partners of Cirka.

    Mrs. Gaudreau says it is satisfied with the changes made to the name ” Origin Quebec “.

    “When it is said that some products are here then this is not the case, and it creates confusion “, she says.


    A “false debate” ridiculous, say some distilleurs

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    Now, the appellation “Original Quebec” will be reserved for this type of product.

    Several distilleurs that use neutral alcohol of Ontario in their products believe that the debate about the name “Origin Quebec” is unnecessary and ridiculous.

    “It is as if one said that the goat cheese product in Charlevoix is not quebec because the goat is born in the United States !” is an example of Nicolas Duvernois, president and ceo of PURE Vodka.

    “It is a false debate, because there must be two or three producers in Quebec who are of the culture of the grain and use it for the distillation, he adds. It is a minority that does this for a so-called purity, when in reality, it doesn’t change anything. “

    Of ” frustrated “

    Mr. Duvernois thought that the battle that has led some distilleurs to make a change to the criteria of the appellation “Original Quebec” is a waste of time.

    “All of this is for a few producers who are frustrated because they do not sell, lance-t-il. Me, I was the first to make a vodka in Quebec, and I would never have managed if I had wasted my time like that. “

    François Pouliot, the owner of the Domain Snow, explains that the neutral alcohol is used by most of the producers of spirits has no taste or character, by definition.

    “So, even if it is purchased in Ontario, it has no impact on the final product, he argues. It is a material first, and this is what you do with your product, according to me. It remains quebec products even if the raw material is not from here. “

    And the beer ?

    Stéphan Ruffo, president of the Association of microdistilleries du Québec (AMDQ), emphasizes that if the liquor containing alcohol in ontario are no longer considered as a quebecer, no beer produced in Quebec will no longer be.

    “The beers from quebec are usually made from a grain that doesn’t come from Quebec,” he says. So is this that we stop to consider these beers as quebec ? “

    For its part, the co-owner of the Distillery of the Fjord, Jean-Philippe Bouchard, said to understand that the distilleurs that manufacture products that are 100 % quebecois wish to distinguish themselves from others on the shelves.

    “We understand that they want to recognize it, but at the same time, we must not forget that our industry is very competitive, and that this is a question purely economic one uses the neutral alcohol of Ontario,” he recalls. If it is a small company and we want to be viable, we don’t have much of a choice. “