Making changes

Once we took possession of our building, the task of transforming it into Fernie Distillers commenced.

It has not been easy, let’s call it a learning experience.

Our space grew out of a 1970’s cinderblock building with a drop ceiling, fluorescent lights and wood panelled walls. We could see that it had a lot of potential…

Guided by licensing requirements that govern distillery production as well as building code and zoning restrictions we developed our vision for the space as we got to know the building more intimately.

Step one was to take it back to the bare bones so out came the wood panels to reveal solid structural fir timbers and original raw concrete walls which were poured in 1909!

As you can imagine, our passion for history meant that we were determined to retain these features if we could.

The removal of the drop ceiling didn’t fill us with quite as much inspiration, in fact the aged construction and numerous leaks meant we had to invest in a new roof.  

The floor needed to be reinforced to support full vessels and pallets of grain in the production area and we pulled out all the old electrical to replace with an up-to-date system. A fire suppression system including sprinklers was installed and we added modern heating and ventilation to make for a comfortable and healthy space.

One of the most exciting additions was to cut holes in the walls and install windows to bring in natural light. This really brought the space to life and we were excited to see a few interested faces peering through to see what was going on.

Continuing the historical theme we searched for lots of old doors that are now used as wall coverings in the lounge area to add further character. 

You can see the extent of the changes by looking through the photo gallery.