the original distillers of the almaguin highlands

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A lifelong journey of entrepreneurship, passion and integrity encompassed within the spirit of our distillery.

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The original distillers of the almaguin highlands

_____________________________________________

 

A lifelong journey of entrepreneurship, passion and integrity encompassed within the spirit of our distillery.

 

Our Founder

Our Founder, A True Entrepreneur

For over 40 years Craig Ferchat thrived as an influential entrepreneur, businessman and innovator. His ultimate dream of founding a distillery was fulfilled in December of 2016 with the opening of Copperhead Distillery.

A devoted husband, an inspirational father, an accomplished businessman, and a lifelong entrepreneur. Many great titles belonged to Craig Ferchat, but one would come to define him… the founder and creator of Copperhead Distillery.

As a young man and throughout his life he only worked for himself creating and leading numerous successful businesses. Craig’s ambition, work ethic, and determination are reasons why Copperhead exists today.

A lifelong journey of entrepreneurship would lead to 2016, the year Craig developed Copperhead Distillery. This moment would change the coarse for his family and would be the beginning of a legacy that will live on forever.

This is our story.

This is our history.

This is our future.

our-history

A devoted husband, an inspirational father, an accomplished businessman, and a lifelong entrepreneur. Many great titles belonged to Craig Ferchat, but one would come to define him… the founder and creator of Copperhead Distillery.

As a young man and throughout his life he only worked for himself creating and leading numerous successful businesses. Craig’s ambition, work ethic, and determination are reasons why Copperhead exists today.

A lifelong journey of entrepreneurship would lead to 2016, the year Craig developed Copperhead Distillery. This moment would change the coarse for his family and would be the beginning of a legacy that will live on forever.

This is our story.

This is our history.

This is our future.

Our History, A Family Journey

Ferchat meaning "Iron Cat" not only defines our founders legacy but also represents the pride and integrity that goes into every hand-crafted product we create.

2016

Construction of First Distillery & Opening Day

 

In early 2016, after months of market research, Craig Ferchat and his family started talking about the opportunity of constructing a distillery in the Almaguin Highlands of Ontario, an area tied to the family for generations. Sensing a coming trend of craft distilleries in the Ontario market Craig made the decision to apply for a distillery licence in May of 2016.

Upon receiving the required licences, the construction of the first distillery began on the Ferchat’s property in Burks Falls, Ontario. Craig converted his 1,000 sq ft garage into a facility where the spirits would be produced, bottled and sold.

During the process of construction Craig was also busy developing the first spirits that would be sold. After months of fine tuning his recipes Craig decided to start with four products: Magnetawan Rye Moonshine, Black Currant Vodka, Coconut Pirate Rum and Smokin’ Gun Moonshine.

After a year of hard work and endless time developing the foundation of the business, Copperhead Distillery officially opened for business on December 16th 2016. With the only advertising being word of mouth and a local press release Craig and his family had no idea of what was to come.

2016

Construction of First Distillery & Opening Day

 

In early 2016, after months of market research, Craig Ferchat and his family started talking about the opportunity of constructing a distillery in the Almaguin Highlands of Ontario, an area tied to the family for generations. Sensing a coming trend of craft distilleries in the Ontario market Craig made the decision to apply for a distillery licence in May of 2016.

Upon receiving the required licences, the construction of the first distillery began on the Ferchat’s property in Burks Falls, Ontario. Craig converted his 1,000 sq ft garage into a facility where the spirits would be produced, bottled and sold.

During the process of construction Craig was also busy developing the first spirits that would be sold. After months of fine tuning his recipes Craig decided to start with four products: Magnetawan Rye Moonshine, Black Currant Vodka, Coconut Pirate Rum and Smokin’ Gun Moonshine.

After a year of hard work and endless time developing the foundation of the business, Copperhead Distillery officially opened for business on December 16th 2016. With the only advertising being word of mouth and a local press release Craig and his family had no idea of what was to come.

2017

Product Expansion & Opening of Second Distillery

 

2017 was a year to remember… The famous Apple Pie Moonshine was created, four of Copperhead’s products got submitted and accepted into the LCBO, and customers grew exponentially each month. This unexpected success encouraged Craig to develop more spirits to meet the growing demand from customers.

As 2017 went on Copperhead Distillery was quickly established as a must-stop tourist attraction for the seasonal cottagers of the area pushing Craig to consider if a new, much larger and more accessible, location would be necessary. As Copperhead continued to grow, in customer support and product offerings, the decision was made that a much larger facility would be needed.

After just under a full year of operation with the help of his dedicated staff and loyal customers, Craig was able to move his business to Sundridge, Ontario to a facility 8 times bigger than the original distillery.

On December 21st, 2017, Copperhead Distillery officially opened their new location, including a unique retail store and almost 9,000 sq ft of production, bottling and shipping space. The amazing turnout from family, friends and the community set Copperhead on a path to commercial success in the town of Sundridge.

2018

The Passing of Our Founder

 

The start of 2018 saw the addition of 15 aging barrels to bring the total to 24, expanding Copperhead’s aging capabilities to 5,400 litres. This allowed Craig to begin a maturing cycle that would allow Copperhead to release its first official Canadian Whisky (aged 3 years) in 2020 and would set the foundation for aged products for years to come.

Throughout the year the Copperhead team focused on expanding merchandise, product offerings and production capabilities. The addition of Strawberry Monkey Cream and Cin-A-Bun Cream were made to the liqueur line up and a variety of branded products were added to the merchandise line.

Copperhead Distillery celebrated their first full year in their new Sundridge location by hosting the first annual Customer Appreciation day on December 23rd, 2018. The turnout from the local community and visitors from far away was unbelievable and solidified Copperhead as a pillar of the community.

Unfortunately, the Copperhead team was soon faced with a devastating lost.

Craig Ferchat, founder of Copperhead Distillery passed away on December 27th, 2018. The Copperhead and Ferchat family were left lost without their leader, father, and husband.

2018

The Passing of Our Founder

 

The start of 2018 saw the addition of 15 aging barrels to bring the total to 24, expanding Copperhead’s aging capabilities to 5,400 litres. This allowed Craig to begin a maturing cycle that would allow Copperhead to release its first official Canadian Whisky (aged 3 years) in 2020 and would set the foundation for aged products for years to come.

Throughout the year the Copperhead team focused on expanding merchandise, product offerings and production capabilities. The addition of Strawberry Monkey Cream and Cin-A-Bun Cream were made to the liqueur line up and a variety of branded products were added to the merchandise line.

Copperhead Distillery celebrated their first full year in their new Sundridge location by hosting the first annual Customer Appreciation day on December 23rd, 2018. The turnout from the local community and visitors from far away was unbelievable and solidified Copperhead as a pillar of the community.

Unfortunately, the Copperhead team was soon faced with a devastating lost.

Craig Ferchat, founder of Copperhead Distillery passed away on December 27th, 2018. The Copperhead and Ferchat family were left lost without their leader, father, and husband.

2019

Release of the First Signature Series

 

When Craig Ferchat, founder of Copperhead Distillery, set his mind to creating something, he did anything possible to make it a reality. 2019 was a testament to this characteristic of determination and inspired the Copperhead team’s decision to continue after his passing.

In honour of the life and legacy of Craig and his father Bob, the arrangement was made to release Copperhead’s first aged moonshine from the barrels that were put away by Craig in 2018.

On April 3rd, 2019, what would have been Craig’s 59th birthday, the first batch of the Signature Series was bottled and sold as barrel aged moonshine. Only 400 bottles were produced and sold to the public. You can find Craig’s signature along with his Dad’s, Robert Ferchat, on the front of the label beside the iconic “Ironcat” which signifies the Ferchat family’s last name.

The rest of 2019 would prove to be a year of growth, knowledge and prosperity. Copperhead would go on to host their now annual May 2-4, Labour Day and Customer Appreciation events drawing thousands to the Almaguin Highlands region.

our-future

Our Future, Honouring A Legacy

Born of determination and integrity the Copperhead team continues to strive to honour the legacy of the distillery's founder Craig Ferchat. Distilled in the Almaguin Highlands and enjoyed across Ontario; Copperhead Distillery, The Spirit Of The North.

Today, Craig’s wife Sharon Ferchat, President/CEO, and her team endlessly work hard to continue Craig’s legacy and expand Copperhead Distillery.

On May 3rd, 2020 we released our second Signature Series, our first official 3-year aged Canadian Whisky – The Founders Batch. This was Craig’s dream. 600 bottles of this limited edition Canadian Whisky were released and met with huge success. 2020 was also the year we started our Advent Calendar Trees – A countdown to Christmas with a wide selection of our most popular spirits and liqueurs with daily recipes to accompany them! We couldn’t have anticipated what a massive hit these would be, and we are so excited to carry them for years to follow!

This past year has been an interesting one, with COVID-19 and provincial lockdowns keeping us on our toes. But we haven’t let it slow us down! We have lots of exciting new things in the works, including our 2021 Signature Series – The Four Brother’s Batch, a 4-year aged Canadian Whisky, releasing April 3, 2021. We are expanding into more LCBO locations as well as starting to ship outside of Ontario. In-store you will see more seasonal selections rotating through to allow us to offer a wider range of delicious spirits and liqueurs.

Our future is filled with passion and determination to continue the legacy of our founder and to continue to build the legacy of Copperhead Distillery.

 

our-history

Today, Craig’s wife Sharon Ferchat, President/CEO, and her team endlessly work hard to continue Craig’s legacy and expand Copperhead Distillery.

On May 3rd, 2020 we released our second Signature Series, our first official 3-year aged Canadian Whisky – The Founders Batch. This was Craig’s dream. 600 bottles of this limited edition Canadian Whisky were released and met with huge success. 2020 was also the year we started our Advent Calendar Trees – A countdown to Christmas with a wide selection of our most popular spirits and liqueurs with daily recipes to accompany them! We couldn’t have anticipated what a massive hit these would be, and we are so excited to carry them for years to follow!

This past year has been an interesting one, with COVID-19 and provincial lockdowns keeping us on our toes. But we haven’t let it slow us down! We have lots of exciting new things in the works, including our 2021 Signature Series – The Four Brother’s Batch, a 4-year aged Canadian Whisky, releasing April 3, 2021. We are expanding into more LCBO locations as well as starting to ship outside of Ontario. In-store you will see more seasonal selections rotating through to allow us to offer a wider range of delicious spirits and liqueurs.

Our future is filled with passion and determination to continue the legacy of our founder and to continue to build the legacy of Copperhead Distillery.