From apples to liqueur

Deep Roots Distillery hold open house

Nigel Armstrong
Published on August 1, 2014

Deep Roots Distillery is a new venture on P.E.I. Attending the opening in Warren Grove are, from left, George Webster, minister of agriculture and forestry, Bush Dumville, MLA for District 15, West Royalty - Springvale, and distillery founder Mike Beamish.

©Guardian photo by Nigel Armstrong

There is a new distillery on P.E.I. that hopes eventually to make use of apples to produce an organic liqueur.

Deep Roots Distillery held an open house Thursday in Warren Grove north of Cornwall to acknowledge the help from established Island businesses run by Jamie Matos and Mike Newman and help from the provincial government.

“Deep Roots Distillery will be an expansion to Beamish Orchard as owned and operated by Mike Beamish and family,” said a statement Thursday from Innovation P.E.I., the Department of Innovation and Advanced Learning, and the Department of Agriculture and Forestry.

“We have been operating this apple orchard as a certified organic orchard since about 1990,” said Beamish during the open house.

He was working fulltime in the IT industry, primarily at Holland College but on retirement, began to think of ways to make use of the apples the family had been selling as a U-pick.

The Beamishs began producing and selling apple butter, candied apples and apple cider plus it sold Island-produced honey and maple syrup.

Beamish attended a distilling workshop with his son last year hosted by Bio|Food|Tech, a division of the P.E.I. Food Technology Centre.

He jumped in and set to work.

“It’s not for the faint of heart,” Beamish said to George Webster, minister of agriculture and forestry who attended the opening.

So far he has one product for sale, a maple-syrup-based liquor. He had a moonshine-type product for sale but it is now off the shelves because of a trademark or marketing dispute.

The provincial government contributed money from Innovation PEI for marketing plus development of the company’s web site, said the statement,

“Deep Roots Distillery has also received $28,000 in assistance from the Growing Forward program, a joint partnership of Agriculture Canada and the Prince Edward Island Department of Agriculture and Forestry,” it said.

The goal is to produce a certified organic apple cider liqueur along with other flavoured spirits.

“The company expects to produce close to 8,000 bottles of 375 ml size in its first year,” said the government statement. “These sales will be generated through the onsite outlet, the Charlottetown Farmers Market and from sales generated through the P.E.I. Liquor Control Commission.”