Our first host is Jason Kang, the founder of Winnipeg’s only craft spirit maker Capital K Distillery.
We asked him to share his advice to young entrepreneurs, plus how he gets the taste of the Prairies into his products.
Most vodkas are made from potato. It tends to be “rougher” tasting compared to the wheat-rye blend we use, which forms a milder base.
We started making Tall Grass Vodka because it doesn’t have an aging process, so we could sell it right away for a cash flow. We’re also already making Tall Grass gin, which is made from our vodka. The biggest gin producers making it from neutral spirits they purchase from other companies, but since we already have the equipment and are already making the vodka, we’re just using the same base spirit for the gin.
Normally gin is very dry and piney, but our gin is not – it’s almost a fruity, refreshing gin.
WC: What led you to open a craft distillery
JK: I was a homebrewer back then in the day, making beer and wine at home, at the time I was in university. I did have two part-time jobs, I made decent money, but compared to what we were drinking at the time it wasn’t enough. Basically we found a way to reduce the cost of our liquor, which was home making. That was six or seven years ago.
WC: What’s the biggest challenge you’ve had to overcome?
JK: The general public in Manitoba, don’t have this concept of crafting spirits – we’re just starting to get familiar with crafting beers. So for us, it’s hard to get our name out there because people have never thought of local distilleries and so they’re not looking for it. We need more customers to know about us first and then people to start asking questions.