February 2020 – First Mover

With a mission to inform, empower, celebrate and advocate for British Columbia's current and aspiring business leaders, BCBusiness go behind the headlines and bring readers face to face with the key issues and people driving business in B.C.

Issue link: http://digital.canadawide.com/i/1199442

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70 BCBUSINESS FEBRUARY 2020 RALF SCHNEIDER/ROYAL BC MUSEUM; HOPWIRED FESTIVAL professionally for 23 years, the last 10 or so as a private chef in Abu Dhabi, Australia, Germany, Viet- nam and elsewhere. "As a chef, I always had a burning curios- ity about distilling," he confides—and Jordan River was once a hotbed for that, too. Behind the house where MacIsaac lived was an old moon- shine shack. He showed some bottles he'd found there to a former resident of the area, who told him distilling was once a com- mon local activity. "In fact, when [that person was] younger, in the '60s, they saw a still that was cooking up liquor in the basement of the Jordan River Ho- tel," MacIsaac reveals. "They'd be selling it up- stairs illegally in the pub. I said, OK, I'm building a still." He sent away to a chemist in New Zealand for plans, and so began a new hobby. "Fast-forward to I was cooking for a private party at a mansion in Victoria, and they were discussing the change in policy where the craft designation would be implemented," says MacIsaac. In 2013, the provincial government eliminated the markup on distilled liquor made from 100-percent B.C. agricultural products if directly distributed by the producer, similar to the regulations for wineries. "You could do a smaller scale without having to jump to a commercial level," MacIsaac explains. In 2015, following a couple of years of re- search, he and his wife, Alayne, launched Sher- ingham Distillery in Shir- ley, near Jordan River. Apart from distilling, MacIsaac has a passion for vintage Harley-Davidsons. He owns two, having sold a couple of others to buy more stills when the distillery expanded and relocated to Sooke. He also likes fishing and hunting: mule deer in the Chilcotin, white-tailed east of Vernon and Columbian black-tailed on Vancouver Island. "I love cooking and eating and enjoying wild game," he says. "It's fan- tastic. It's the fact that you can harvest it yourself, and then the whole pro- cedure from hunting to field dressing, butchering, right to the plate. You can control it the whole time, so you can have respect for it, the whole process." He, Alayne and their daughter live off wild game for most of the year, sharing anything extra with extended family, friends and colleagues. As for surfing, the timing always depends on when conditions are right. "It dictates when you go," MacIsaac admits. "You can't really schedule it in." • A F T E R HO U R S ANIMAL MAGNETISM The Natural History Museum's 55th Wildlife Photographer of the Year exhibition travels from the U.K. to Victoria's Royal BC Museum this month. A panel of international experts selected the winning photos from almost 50,000 entries by some of the world's best photographers. The 100 images, which capture wild animals going about their business in their natural habitats, are featured in lightbox displays with captions explaining the story behind each one. February 14–March 29 $16.95-$26.95, children 3-5 free GET BUZZY The 2020 Hopwired Festival, at the Croatian Cultural Centre on Commercial Drive in Vancouver, features breweries and coffee roasters from across Canada and the U.S., plus the Espressotec coffee-inspired cocktail competition and a lager bar offering samples from Bellingham's award-winning Chuckanut Brewery. Panel topics include From the Ground Up With Mecca Grade Estate Malts and Funk Yeah! A Tasting With Wild Beer. Sour and fruit beers complement the coffees and tie in with Hopwired's sister festival, Fruit Beer Fest. February 29 $75; $500 for groups of 10 or more • GET UP-TO-DATE BUSINESS NEWS DIRECTLY TO YOUR INBOX INCLUDES: • REPORT CARD Last week's hits and misses • REAL ESTATE ROUNDUP Most and least expensive homes sold in B.C. • 10 THINGS you didn't know about prominent business leaders BCBUSINESS.CA | @BCBUSINESS

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