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Kamloops's first craft distillery so close you can taste it

Owners of Red Bridge Distilling Richard Bugera (left) and Dave Nikkel.
Owners of Red Bridge Distilling Richard Bugera (left) and Dave Nikkel.

Locals excited about the opening of Kamloops' first craft distillery don't have much longer to wait.

Red Bridge Distilling is set to open its doors by early December in Sahali off McGill Road. 

It's been a long road to get here for owners Richard Bugera and Dave Nikkel, due to a challenge that is completely out of their hands.

The Red Bridge vodka has been bottled, and their gin is coming up next.
The Red Bridge vodka has been bottled, and their gin is coming up next.

"The approvals and waiting on the different levels of government has taken quite a while," Nikkel said.

Although the government agents have been great to work with, he said, the process has been a slow one. 

"You're not going to open in six months."

All said and done, Red Bridge has been in the works for a year and eight months. The partners left their careers in the construction industry to found Red Bridge, and they have no regrets.

"We both love cooking, so playing with flavours has been a lot of fun," Bugera said. "Also, just seeing how excited people get for this, that's been great."

"The public response has been really positive," Nikkel added. "That's the kind of stuff that's been really rewarding."

With most of their permits in order, the bottling has begun. They've finished their first batch of vodka, and the gin is currently underway. 

Their alcohol is made on-site with ingredients exclusively from B.C. They will be offering retail sales and tastings to the public once they open for business. 

They have future plans for expanding their collection, possibly producing some seasonal liquors.

Keep an eye on their Facebook page for their opening date here.


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