The Gnu Normal

During the height of the pandemic there was one thing we missed most: our community. As “gatherers”, we (Dawn, Tony, and Darren) revel in bringing people together whether it a backyard BBQ, cocktail kitchen party, or post-game G&T at the local rink with other hockey parents. So, while mandates forced us apart from the ones we love, we started dreaming deeply about how we could continue to bring people together. Naturally the conversation turned to booze, and not your average she shed moonshine (is that even legal?), but rather high-quality handcrafted spirits made using local ingredients and a whole lot of love.

Never ones to take ourselves too seriously, we wanted to create a brand worth gathering around. Something fun, bold, and different that also incorporated our reason for existing: to bring people together.

We thought long and hard about a name that was meaningful AND provoked conversation which is how Gnu Craft Spirits was born.

Gnu Normal London Dry Gin Bottles

The 'G' is silent

The Gnu is an African plains animal known for sticking with the herd. Gnu's are resilient and adaptive, moving easily on land and through water, and gnu babies can move about freely within 10 minutes of their birth ensuring that they can almost immediately keep up with the herd. Kind of amazing considering human babies…

Sure, gnu's get taken down by lions and are deeply affected by drought, but they continue to move through adversity, together, and are always on the lookout for their next watering hole. Gnu Craft Spirits is equally as committed to gathering the herd, especially around watering holes (as long as The Gnu Normal London Dry Gin is in the water, or tonic, or…).

Even though the way we gather has changed these past two years, getting together and connecting in some way has become even more important. Gathering reminds us that we are part of a community, something bigger than ourselves. And no matter what we face, the herd prevails.

Let’s take a look back for a quick moment. We had heard stories and experienced how supportive the local craft spirits and beer scene is, but we had no idea just how true that was. It really is a family that supports one another and understands that we’re all stronger together.

Friends old and gnu

The gnu would still just be an African wildebeest if it wasn’t for the help of a select few herd members who helped make Gnu Craft Spirits a reality.

First drink at the watering hole goes to the following incredible people:

  • Ross Alger and Pheelan Mah: Confluence Distilling and Alberta Craft Distillers Association
  • Tom Stuart, Peter Dolan and Jeff Popeil: Village Brewery
  • Mark Kondrat & Trevor Bacon: Alberta Beer Festivals
  • Vince Schaeffer: Four Dogs Brewing Company
  • Jordan Ramey: Burwood Distillery
  • Ownership: Last Best Brewing & Distilling
  • Mark Freeland: Two Rivers Distillery
  • Faye Warrington &  Marty Lastiwka: Skunkworks Distillery
  • David Farran: Eau Claire Distillery
  • Tory Manywounds: Original 403
Thank You