The old Manitoba Hydro building in Grandview has been purchased with the intentions of creating a distillery.

Manager of the project, Pierce Cairns, says in 2018 and 2019 they were hitting a lot of walls until the Manitoba Hydro building went up for sale.

“It was interestingly one of the first places we looked at back in 2017 as a possible site. But they had a lot of environmental assessments and things to get through before they could actually list it to the public. So we jumped on it as soon as it was listed and came into possession of it just before Christmas. Trucking ahead in 2020, it’ll be getting all of those regulations lined up, some regulations to the building, and then hopefully we will have some local distillery product being pumped out by the end of the year.”

To start with, the distillery would produce vodka and gin, with whiskey and rum coming later.

Cairns says a part of the project is the idea to have a restaurant attached to the distillery.

“If everything goes as planned, we’ve been talking with a red seal chef out of Calgary who’s very interested in moving out and setting up a, he calls himself World Comfort Food, and basically a little bit higher-end restaurant, someone that’ll do catering, be open, and also act as the tasting room for the distillery. So that would kind of save us a little bit on overhead but then double up on the cool factor, tourism element for both of us.”

While the distillery has the goal of being open by the end of the year, the restaurant wouldn’t be expected to be in operation until summer 2021.