Coldstream Clear arose from a simple vision; a vision to share celebrations and social experiences far beyond one single group of friends and family.
Some of life’s most enjoyable times are spent relaxing and enjoying the company of friends while sipping a favourite drink. It’s something we look forward to. So, why not create spirits that are worth looking forward to? Spirits that go above and beyond your expectations and are genuinely superior to what’s typically available.
When that vision was coupled with a detailed knowledge of distillation and a priceless water resource, Co-Founder Riley Giffen could not help but pursue it.
It was 2014 and Riley was in an organic chemistry class distilling essential oils from the zest of an orange peel. While some of the labs seemed mundane or boring, this one was different. It sparked Riley’s interest as he made the connection that the same principles were used to create distilled spirits like vodka and rum. From there, the interest only grew as Riley spent countless hours researching every aspect that his education didn’t teach him directly. He went on to build his own still and successfully run it, making his own homemade spirits and sharing them with close friends and family.
By this time, Riley’s entrepreneurial mind had already dreamt of creating a real brand for the spirits – and whether that thought was pre-mature or simply ambitious is debatable.
A few key factors allowed Riley’s dream to become a reality. The first was that Riley’s parents, Robert and Elaine, had owned and operated a local bottled water business for the previous 10 years. They had a truly one-in-a-million spring on their property which provided ultra-pure water to create exceptional spirits.
The second was that Riley had continued to grow his technical knowledge of distillation. He completed his degree in Chemical Engineering at Dalhousie University and gained the crucial training required to properly and professionally operate a still. This appreciation and working knowledge of the science has proven to be invaluable in the overall quality of Coldstream’s spirits.
The cherry on top was discovering that the Family’s first ancestor, Mr. Simon Giffen, was a distiller by trade. Detailed family history books told the story of how he left northern Ireland for Halifax in 1749. In Halifax, he ran a successful distillery on Tobin Street, exporting much of his craft to the Boston area.
And so, armed with new expertise, a precious water resource, and an abundant distilling history, it seemed natural for Riley and his parents to make the leap and open a distillery.
Then ‘til Now
The doors to the original Coldstream Clear Distillery opened in September 2015 and today’s operation holds true to the original vision: to create, share, and enjoy the social experiences of the world through our exceptional spirits. From taste to packaging to service, we want to exceed your expectations. Our handcrafted products redefine world class quality at a price that will pleasantly surprise you.
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