F E AT U R E
Here, is back in the Annapolis Valley in the agricultural com-munity
of Port Williams, where the couple now run their own
business called Barrelling Tide Distillery.
Murphy is the distiller at Barrelling Tide, which is gain-ing
accolades for its distinctive lineup of flavoured liqueurs. He
uses locally-grown commodities to produce the liqueurs, which
Murphy says has given him a unique opportunity to really recon-nect
with the place of his youth.
Back in high school, Murphy used to spend summers pick-ing
corn for 25 cents a bushel for local growers. Now, those farm-ers
are his suppliers, growing the fruit Murphy uses to make
Barrelling Tide Distillery’s liqueurs and other spirits.
“It’s kind of neat coming back and rekindling those relation-ships,”
said Murphy. “I enjoy talking with them, seeing where they
are and learning about the struggles that they’ve overcome over
the years. But it’s also increased my understanding of the farming
industry and how I can work closely with farmers to support and
enhance those products that they sell.
“We’re in the fruit belt of Nova Scotia, so we work with over
12 local farmers to produce the nine different liqueurs we make,
and we have since the get-go,” he added. “It’s always been part of
our model, supporting the local agricultural community on our
doorstep and working with those partnerships.”
Wide selection of flavours
Barrelling Tide’s flavoured liqueurs include products made with
blueberries, raspberries, black currents, cranberries, cherries,
rhubarb, arctic kiwi and haskap – a locally grown berry that
Murphy says has twice the antioxidants as blueberries and pro-duces
a liqueur with “a really rich, intense flavour profile.”
According to Murphy, the significance of Barrelling Tide
Distillery relying heavily on local farmers is not lost on customers.
“When people are here visiting the farm markets and see-ing
the fields as they drive through the countryside, it resonates
when they come to our distillery and see the finished products,”
he said. “They really appreciate the freshness, and that there’s no
artificial colours, flavours or preservatives in any of our products.”
In addition to flavoured liqueurs, Barrelling Tide also offers a
chili pepper infused vodka which has a pepper right in the bottle,
as well as a seasonal rhubarb gin.
“Our Tide Rhubarb Gin comes out every spring after harvest
and is one of our best sellers in the summer,” said Murphy. “It has
some really nice flavours and profiles that come into it.”
Murphy, who also makes straight vodka, gin and rum prod-ucts,
notes that his culinary background has come in quite handy
in his new career as a distiller. “I’m a chef by trade, so my palate is
one of my best assets,” he said.
Murphy says among Barrelling Tide’s liqueurs, his personal
favourite is the Black Current Liqueur, which won a gold medal
last year at the Canadian Artisan Spirit Competition.
“All of our liqueurs have done really well at that competi-tion,”
he said. “Our Cherry Liqueur has won two gold medals.
Our Raspberry Liqueur has won double gold as well as was the
Best in Category for 2018 in Canada. As a whole, we’ve brought
home over 20 medals in the last two years.”
Trial and error
When deciding what new flavours to pursue, Murphy says he relies
on personal preference as well as feedback from other people.
“There’s a lot of moving parts,” he said. “It’s the profile of the
fruit, what we can do with it, what we can achieve, how we can
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