Burwood Distillery is an award-winning craft distillery located in Calgary, AB. Already a well-established business with an experienced team and a wide range of products in the market, Burwood is about to embark on several exciting new projects including exports to the US and China, and relocating to The Stables, a historic building in Currie Barracks, mere minutes from downtown Calgary.
“Burwood Distillery is much more than a craft spirits producer. We want to reshape the landscape of Western Canadian produced spirits and hard sodas by sharing our knowledge, and inventing new, accessible styles using novel, local ingredients to intrigue current spirit consumers and welcome the next generation.”
– Dr. Jordan Ramey, Co-Owner & Master Distiller, Burwood Distillery
A strong market for differentiated products.
The market for both spirits and Ready-To-Drink (RTD) products in Alberta is strong with a steady increase in spirits, and a sharp rise in RTDs, now surpassing wine in volume sold.
The Burwood difference.
Burwood Distillery is a celebration of Alberta’s agriculture and a nod to the generations of distillers that came before us. We love every single product we produce, and our intention is to get you just as excited about craft spirits as we are.
We use Albertan ingredients including our own local honey, grain, and Rocky Mountain water, to produce spirits that reflect our province, and that generations will be proud to share.
Burwood’s Croatian roots and respect for heritage combined with Dr Ramey’s thirst for innovation have led to a science driven production process that increases cost-effectiveness through unique fermentations. In 2020 we tripled our fermentation capacity and in 2021, the purchase of a new larger set of stills will further increased production volumes without appreciably increasing staff costs.
Unique honey liqueurs and award-winning spirits.
Our range of products is highly awarded both in Canada and internationally, including multiple SIP Awards – the only internationally recognized consumer-judged spirits competition.
Innovative and novel Ready-to-Drink beverages.
When it comes to gathering ingredients for some of our canned cocktails, you might even see one of our founders heading out to BC to take advantage of their incredible fruit harvests.
Burwood products can be found throughout Alberta in 260+ liquor stores, restaurants, farmers markets, & golf courses. Consumers can also purchase direct from Burwood at our distillery. Retailers can purchase directly from Burwood or via Liquor Connect. Direct purchase allows a tax savings of $11.30 / L of spirit and $1.49 / L cooler!
With shipping available Canada-wide we have been actively growing our online storefront since 2019. Ordering via SPUD and Made Good is also now available to online shoppers.
Winning in our own backyard first.
For the past five years, Burwood has worked to establish secure and stable retail relationships in Alberta. This work has paid off, allowing us to focus on domestic and international exports as well as a new high profile relocation.
With strong sales in Alberta, and a 74% growth over the last year, despite the global pandemic, Burwood is well positioned for growth. While honey-based spirits are our best-known differentiator, Burwood has a diverse range of products that ensure our market penetration is broad and our revenue streams are diversified.
In 2020, Burwood hired Jennifer Jamison as Chief Sales Officer, and also entered into a new relationship with a Calgary design agency – Daughter Creative – who helped us launch our first whisky in the Grains of Truth series, a duo of Garden Party summer gins, and are working on an upcoming release of 3 winter gins.
Developing a more efficient overall brand structure and investigating custom bottles to increase our shelf presence is high on our list of priorities as we grow into new markets, as is developing a suite of marketing materials for our new export locations, including retailer sales presentations, sell sheets, and targeted digital advertising customized to each new region.
An exciting new PR and events relationship is also in its early stages and will be crucial to leveraging our social media channels, launching our new location and promoting The Stables as an education and events center.
Together, this expert team will help Burwood create a more cohesive and efficient design structure, and expand the audience for our existing products while collaborating to release and market new ones and promote our expanded services in our new location.
The Burwood difference lies in our experienced team, unique and innovative products, and our story and connection with our community.
The Alberta craft distilling community is rapidly growing and working hard to establish itself as a recognized epicenter of distilling excellence. Burwood Distillery is disrupting the model by embracing both a community & employee ownership model.
Burwood sales have been growing year-over-year. We are currently focused to close the remaining gaps in our home province as we explore new markets. Off-sales for 2021 have already exceeded 2020 numbers (as of July month end).
Honey Liqueurs & Gins were our previous top movers. Currently, seasonal gins and our new single malt whisky have been selling extremely well. We expect to achieve our bottle sales target of 20,000 units by year end.
Ready-to-Drink Hard Sodas and Hard Kombuchas have been gaining traction year over year as well. We expect to achieve our canned product target of 100,000 units by year end.
Awards & Media Coverage
Burwood has gathered an impressive amount of national and international awards across the range of products we sell, including:
Honey Liqueur (Medica): Double Gold in the SIP Awards (2018 & 2019); Double Gold & Consumer’s Choice in the SIP Awards (2020); Runner Up in the Made in Alberta Awards (2019 & 2020); Innovation Award in the SIP Awards (2021)
Burwood House Gin: Double Gold in the SIP Awards & Gold in the Canadian Artisan Spirits Competition (2020); Gold & Consumer’s Choice in the SIP Awards (2021)
Burwood Vodka: Bronze in the SIP Awards (2018); Silver in the Canadian Artisan Spirits Competition (2019)
Burwood Single Hive (Rye Cask): Gold in the SIP Awards (2020)
Honey Eau de Vie: Silver in the SIP Awards (2018); Judges’ Choice in the Alberta Beverage Awards (2019)
Burwood’s team has also received many accolades including Ivan Cilic and Jordan Ramey being named in the Avenue Magazine Top 40 under 40 in 2020 and a successful appearance on Dragons’ Den in 2020 by Jordan Ramey & Marko Cilic. Product releases are regularly picked up and publicized by local media and there is already intense interest in the distillery’s upcoming relocation.
“Burwood’s line of products is growing and they are all delicious. The drinks and food never disappoint” Claudius du Plooy (Google Reviews)
“We have a small obsession with this place. Since discovering Burwood Distillery we have bought at least one bottle of everything they have put out.” Coffee_is_life (Google Reviews)
“Honest and authentic. Calgary has a real gem in Burwood Distillery.” Shawna Hodgkinson (Google Reviews)
“Delicious products with lovely service. The vodka and the barrel aged honey liqueur must be tried.” Lauren Bergeson (Google Reviews)
“Burwood is one of my favourite local distilleries! Their gin, vodka, honey – pretty much all their products are fabulous” Breanne Sich (Google Reviews)
With strong sales in Alberta and a 74% growth over the last year, despite the global pandemic, Burwood is well-positioned for growth. While honey-based spirits are our best-known differentiator, Burwood has diverse products that ensure our market penetration is strong.
Expansion into new markets
In Fall 2021, Burwood will expand sales into China with a focus on honey-based spirits. China has a population of 1.4 billion, including over 500 million alcohol drinkers. The spirits market in China is worth around US$130 billion. Although dominated by domestic baijiu, demand for imported spirits is growing fast. This presents a major opportunity for Burwood Distillery.
Imported liquor is very popular with the younger market, in particular, a fact recognized by some of the world’s largest liquor producers. According to a report released by the China Chamber of Commerce For Import and Export of Foodstuffs, Native Produce And Animal (CFNA), the volume of imported spirits grew significantly from January to May 2021. Amounting to US$780 million, it represents an increase of 117% year on year and overtakes wine to become the largest imported alcoholic beverage category.
China also has a high demand for naturally farmed and certified honey and honey products. Our management team has been fostering a strong network of contacts in China since 2019 and has secured expert partners to help us launch into the market. We will be developing a targeted marketing campaign focusing on the quality of our Rocky Mountain water and Alberta grain, and the inclusion of local honey in many of our spirits.
Exports to additional Canadian provinces are planned for Winter 2021, with exports to the US planned for 2022 – likely focusing on RTDs and whisky where there is strong market demand.
Relocating to “The Stables” at Currie Barracks.
In 2021 Burwood will relocate to “The Stables” a historic building in Currie Barracks (an affluent and developing new urban community only 7 minutes drive from downtown Calgary). “Burwood at The Stables” will link the existing distillery with a collaborative restaurant and partner craft brewery, creating a destination for tasting, events, and education completely unique to region.
The purchase of The Stables has allowed consolidation, and the central location will increase foot traffic. The growth from a current 5,000 SF at the Distillery to ~16,000 SF will provide labor savings, increased production, subletting opportunities, patio seating, and the ability to increase RTD margins by packaging on-site pending purchase of a new canning machine.
The new location will offer tours alongside on-site consumption, event rentals, and educational programming. This combined service offering will make The Stables a tasting destination for both locals and out-of-market tourists.
Milestones we’ve hit and plans for the future
USE OF FUNDS
With $780,000 already committed by management at this valuation, we are looking to raise an additional $500,000 to support our growth in the following ways:
50% of funds will go towards operating and capital inventory
✓ Increase # of barrels aging
✓ Increase bottle and can orders for cost savings
✓ Increase honey production
50% of funds will go towards sales and marketing
✓ Increase in marketing spend
✓ Additional sales force
✓ Website and e-commerce
Burwood Distillery brings a passion for exciting new twists on classic spirits and flavours to every product we create, with the goal of igniting that same passion inside you.
✓ Revenue is forecast to increase from $1.8M in 2021 to $5.2M by 2023.
✓ Sales of our unaged spirits are forecast to triple in the next 2 years ✓ We will continue to release new whisky products, broadening our customer base ✓ Exports to China will start in Fall of 2021 opening up a new market for our honey-based spirits ✓ Our move to ‘The Stables’ in 2021 will garner positive media attention ✓ Our new tasting centre will make Burwood a tourism darling in Alberta