Founding Nova Scotia’s first micro-distillery
wasn’t our lifelong dream, exactly.
It was more of a serendipitous idea that led to a budding interest that evolved quickly into a full-on investigation – and ended with the two of us living on the seashore in Lunenburg, making our own spirits. Legally. All of which kind of sums up the spirit of Ironworks.
In the fall of 2008, we were living in Halifax after moving here in search of a calmer, more fulfilling way of life. Pierre was still commuting regularly to Toronto to manage his stock photography business. Lynne, a Nova Scotian by birth, was still working as a costume designer on film projects and publishing a small magazine. We weren’t unhappy with the changes in our life, but at the same time we were open to even more. We talked about some kind of new direction that would see us create an actual product – something handcrafted, unique to the Maritimes and, with luck, interesting enough that other people would want to buy it.
Then, on a flight home from Toronto in late October, Pierre stumbled on a magazine article about the small artisanal distilleries that were popping up in various parts of North America. Using locally grown produce and marrying old distilling methods to new ideas about sustainability, thoughtful craftspeople were creating premium spirits with a deep connection to the regions where they were produced. And these new handmade products tasted a lot better than factory-distilled booze.
That chance encounter with a magazine turned out to be the catalyst for a whole new adventure. Entrepreneurial by nature (and therefore perhaps a bit crazed), we were immediately intrigued and began searching the web, reading books and talking to people all over the arcane and incredibly friendly world of micro-distilling. By the end of it, we knew this was what we wanted to do. The rest – to oversimplify a long and sometimes challenging journey – was just a matter of figuring out what it would take to get there.
Today, getting to Ironworks is easy. We’re just an hour’s drive from Halifax, in a beautiful seaport town that’s so historically interesting it’s been named a UNESCO World Heritage site. You can even take a horse-drawn buggy right to our door. And you can also come back to this site whenever the mood hits to see how things are going. On the web or in person, we’ll always be happy to welcome you to Ironworks.
For a closer look at our town have a peek at this video,