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The story picks up as Covid hit in early 2020. Belfour had just launched the previous October. Of course, the bar and restaurant industry was hit hard during the pandemic, so the Belfours quickly refocused on retail sales. As a result, Belfour Sprits now has a more significant presence in liquor stores than in eating and drinking establishments. In the last year, the brand has worked to reestablish those relationships and get back into the bars.
The conversation went back to the beginning when industry consultants advised Ed to license his name like most other celebrity brands. But Ed balked at slapping his name on a cheap label on a cheap bottle with cheap whiskey. The Belfours all agreed they wanted to put their family name on something they created themselves.
Ed and Dayn attended two distilling schools: Moonshine University in Louisville, Kentucky, and Canadian Craft Distilling Institute in West Kelowna, British Columbia. Later, Dayn interned at Woody Creek Distillers in Basalt, Colorado.
Most new brands begin by sourcing barrels of already-produced whiskey and packaging it. The Belfours never did that; they wanted to make something themselves. But they still needed a place where they could produce it. As it happened, Southern Distilling Company was about to open its new facility in Statesville, North Carolina. Belfour became their first contract distilling client. The ground-floor timing of their partnership allowed the Belfours to hone in on their research and development within SDC’s space. The Belfours were determined to only use the finest ingredients and meticulously sourced oak for quality crafted barrels. Every detail would lead to creating their ultra-premium product.
Both Southern and Belfour have grown tremendously, and Belfour now needs its own facility. The new distillery will hopefully open next year, with the capacity to produce ten thousand barrels per year. The distillery will also allow Ed and Dayn to do more R&D and experiment with other spirits.
The Belfours look forward to interacting with the public with tours, a tasting room, and live music. As always, Belfour Spirits is about providing quality and a great experience.
Watch the entire interview to hear insight into the Belfour family dynamics, industry challenges, and some great hockey stories!