About Fernie Distillers

Fernie Distillers was incorporated in 2016 and is the first distillery in Fernie, BC.

Located in downtown Fernie adjacent to the Fernie branch of The Royal Canadian Legion, the distillery focuses on small batch craft spirits that capture and celebrate the historical spirit of Fernie. 

Founded by husband and wife team Andrew Hayden and Jillian Rutherford, Fernie Distillers produces less than two hundred bottles per batch with production spearheaded by Rutherford, who is one of the few female distillers in the industry. The distillery produces a line of regular products with additional small batch specials based on the seasonal availability of local ingredients.  

The celebration of local history is brought to life through the product range, which includes, No. 9 Mine Vodka; Prospector Gin; Fernie Fog Earl Grey tea-infused Liqueur and a Seasonal Spirit distilled using locally sourced ingredients.

Hayden and Rutherford both travelled to Fernie initially in the late nineties and subsequently spent many years vacationing to the town from Calgary, AB, with a long-harboured desire to relocate permanently. The couple’s desire was to move to Fernie with a business idea that could add to the economic diversity of the valley while building on the strong backbone that Fernie is created on. The couple are vocal about the incredible talent pool that calls Fernie home and were delighted to be able to engage with many people from all walks of life as part of their business adventure.

Hayden and Rutherford's skill sets compliment one another with Andrew bringing extensive sales and marketing experience in the alcohol beverage industry working with global brands including Bailey's Irish Cream and Smirnoff.  Jillian gained her production experience at Sons of Vancouver Distillery and Monashee Spirits.


Biography

Jillian Rutherford and Andrew Hayden are a married team that established Fernie Distillers in 2017.

Originally from Ottawa, ON, Jillian has degrees in both Geology and Geophysics Engineering and worked as a development Geophysicist for seven years before moving into residential real estate and starting a family.

Andrew’s career includes sales and management in the pharmaceutical industry and management positions within the liquor industry. In addition to Fernie Distillers, Andrew currently manages a not for profit charitable foundation and is originally from Toronto.

The couple were drawn to Fernie by the fresh mountain air, access to mountains and lakes, the accompanying outdoor recreation possibilities and the opportunity for raising a family in such a setting.

Both Hayden and Rutherford believe passionately in the quality of their product and aim to establish the business as a complimentary attraction within the community’s growing range of unique businesses.

Since moving to Fernie and pushing ahead with establishing Fernie Distillers, Andrew and Jill have collaborated with businesses and other organizations within the community.  

Quick Facts

  • Incorporated in 2016
  • Owned by married team Andrew Hayden & Jillian Rutherford
  • Products: No. 9 Mine Vodka, Prospector Gin, Fernie Fog (Earl Grey tea-infused Liqueur) and limited edition seasonal spirits distilled using locally sourced ingredients and plans to barrel age additional future products
  • Location: 531 1st Ave, Fernie BC

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