An exciting new addition to the Calgary Barley Belt might look a little bit different than what regular patrons are used to seeing, or drinking. Skunkworks Distillery, a locally owned and operated micro-distillery, is bringing premium engineered moonshine to the craft beer party!
Originating in 2015 as an after-work-over-drinks project idea, the concept of Skunkworks Distillery was in the works for a few years before it began to take shape with Faye Warrington and Marty Lastiwka at the helm. Skunk Works is an engineering term coined at Lockheed Martin, referring to the Advanced Development Department, which focuses on innovative and unconventional approaches to new science and technology. “Skunk Works is a department that operates outside the mainstream of their company working on weird little side science projects or on new tech stuff,” says Faye, “for Marty and I, this is our Skunk Works. This is our science project.”
Located on the Barley Belt, southeast Calgary’s signature walking distance collection of craft breweries, Skunkworks distills smooth, small batch premium engineered moonshine that is as good over ice as it is in one of their many cocktails. Made from sugar beets refined in Taber, Alberta, Skunkworks offers three unique products: the original Skunkworks Moonshine, Hypersonic and Moonwater. With Skunkworks, Faye and Marty are committed to challenging the mason jar mentality that associates moonshine with a bootleg burn.
“Moonshine is a good way to bring people together. We all have a moonshine story,” Marty laughs, “It’s something people can always talk about, for better or for worse.”
The tasting room, much of which Faye and Marty built themselves, combines industrial space race vibes with a Mad Max steampunk flare that can’t be found anywhere else. Sip your Skunktail (Skunkworks cocktail) from a science lab beaker and enjoy some light snacks on a replica plane wing turned coffee table, while listening to live music from the in-house studio.
After countless hours of planning, searching and building, the taproom officially opened in November of 2019. Launching amidst the upheaval of a global pandemic and ensuing economic crash has made Skunkworks an operation well versed in thinking on their feet. “None of the normal rules for growing a business apply right now,” says Marty, “So we’re just adapting, we’re pivoting every day.”
Like a number of other breweries and distilleries around the city, Skunkworks transitioned to the production of hand sanitizer to help fill the gap during the height of the pandemic. The public response, according to Marty, was far more than they ever could have anticipated. “Everyone was just so desperate for it,” he says, “we were making it just to give away, and suddenly people were lined up around the block for it.”
While this wasn’t how they exactly envisioned their first few months in operation, it turned out to be a great way for the distillery to begin connecting with the community while helping out people in need. Given the uncertain circumstances and difficulties of the last several months, Faye says the support of the community and other local distilleries has been invaluable.
As things settle down, Faye and Marty are looking forward to being able to host live music again and are even exploring the idea of an outdoor concert on their (dog-friendly!) patio. Above all, the two are excited for the upcoming release of their latest product, a seasonal feature that is like “nothing you’ve ever tasted!” coming very soon.
To learn more about Skunkworks Distillery and what the Calgary Barley Belt has to offer, visit https://www.skunkworksdistillery.com
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Alberta panel recommends no-fault auto insurance to address rising, costly premiums
EDMONTON — A panel is recommending Alberta restructure automobile insurance by abandoning costly court fights and moving to a collaborative no-fault model.
Chairman Chris Daniel says the change is needed to keep the insurance system sustainable while providing fair and timely compensation to those hurt in automobile collisions.
The panel was struck last December to recommend solutions to a steep rise in auto insurance premiums.
The panel says the main reason for increased costs is higher injury payouts characterized by adversarial courtroom conflict, fault-finding, delays, and duelling experts.
The panel’s proposal does not focus on blame and penalties, but rather on getting faster care and compensation for injured parties through arm’s-length adjudication and set benefits.
Finance Minister Travis Toews says he will strike another panel to hear from industry representatives and Albertans about moving to a no-fault model.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 29, 2020
The Canadian Press
Hockey Canada still holding out hope that Lafreniere can play in world juniors
CALGARY — The Canadian junior hockey team will play the waiting game with Alexis Lafreniere and the New York Rangers after learning Thursday that another NHLer will join the squad for selection camp.
Chicago Blackhawks centre Kirby Dach was loaned to Canada and will be part of the 46-player selection camp Nov. 16-Dec. 13 in Red Deer, Alta.
Hockey Canada said if the NHL season starts before the world junior championship in Edmonton ends on Jan. 5, Dach will return to the Blackhawks.
Lafreniere, the first overall pick in this year’s draft, is not on the camp list. Hockey Canada president Tom Renney said Rangers general manager Jeff Gorton was “open minded” to the idea of Lafreniere playing in the world juniors.
“We’ll circle back and have further discussions in about 10 days,” Renney said.
Canada coach Andre Tourigny said Dach is a big addition.
“He’s a great human being. I’m excited to have him on board,” Tourigny said. “I think he can bring leadership. He had a chance to have a season with a guy like Jonathan Toews.”
Picked third overall by Chicago last year, Dach had eight goals and 15 assists in 64 games for the Blackhawks.
Forward Quinton Byfield and five other returning players from Canada’s 2020 gold-medal team are on the roster.
Byfield, who was selected second overall by the Los Angeles Kings at the 2020 NHL draft, joins forwards Dylan Cozens, Connor McMichael and Dawson Mercer and defencemen Bowen Byram and Jamie Drysdale as players going for back-to-back gold medals.
Canada beat Russia 4-3 on Jan. 5 in Ostrava, Czech Republic to win its 18th world junior title.
Five goaltenders, 15 defencemen and 26 forwards, will compete in Red Deer, Alta., at the Nov. 16-Dec. 13 camp for a chance to represent Canada at the 2021 world junior championship Dec. 25-Jan. 5.
The selection camp will include practices and three intrasquad games, as well as six games against a team of U Sports all-stars.
The camp will take place in a cohort bubble and will be closed to the public and media due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“As we continue to navigate through the COVID-19 pandemic, Hockey Canada has taken important steps to maintain the health and safety of our National Junior Team athletes and staff, as well as the community at large, during selection camp and throughout the World Juniors,” Renney said in a release.
“As much as we would enjoy allowing fans into the building to support Team Canada throughout the camp, we need to be responsible as we look to keep all parties safe before teams enter the bubble in Edmonton.”
Selection camp roster:
Goaltenders – Brett Brochu, Tilbury, Ont.. London (OHL); Dylan Garand Victoria, Kamloops (WHL); Taylor Gauthier, Calgary, Prince George (WHL); Tristan Lennox, Cambridge, Ont., Saginaw (OHL); Devon Levi, Dollard-des-Ormeaux, Que., Northeastern University (NCAA).
Defence – Justin Barron, Halifax, Halifax (QMJHL); Bowen Byram, Cranbrook, B.C., Vancouver (WHL); Lukas Cormier, Saint-Marie-de-Kent, N.B., Charlottetown (QMJHL); Jamie Drysdale, Toronto, Erie (OHL); Kaiden Guhle, Sherwood Park, Alta., Prince Albert (WHL); Thomas Harley, Jamesville, N.Y., Mississauga (OHL); Daemon Hunt, Brandon, Man., Moose Jaw (WHL); Kaedan Korczak, Yorkton, Sask., Kelowna (WHL); Mason Millman, London, Ont., Saginaw (OHL); Ryan O’Rourke, Bowmanville, Ont., Sault Ste. Marie (OHL); Owen Power, Mississauga, Ont., University of Michigan (NCAA); Matthew Robertson, Sherwood Park, Alta., Edmonton (WHL); Braden Schneider, Prince Albert, Sask., Brandon (WHL); Donovan Sebrango, Kingston, Ont., Kitchener (OHL); Jordan Spence, Cornwall, P.E.I., Moncton (QMJHL).
Forwards – Adam Beckman, Saskatoon, Spokane (WHL); Mavrik Bourque, Plessisville, Que., Shawinigan (QMJHL); Quinton Byfield, Newmarket, Ont., Sudbury (OHL); Graeme Clarke, Ottawa, Ottawa (OHL); Dylan Cozens, Whitehorse, Lethbridge (WHL); Tyson Foerster, Alliston, Ont., Barrie (OHL); Gage Goncalves, Mission, B.C., Everett (WHL); Ridly Greig, Lethbridge, Alta., Brandon (WHL); Dylan Holloway, Bragg Creek, Alta., University of Wisconsin (NCAA); Seth Jarvis, Winnipeg, Portland (WHL); Peyton Krebs, Okotoks, Alta., Winnipeg (WHL); Hendrix Lapierre, Gatineau, Que., Chicoutimi (QMJHL); Connor McMichael, Ajax, Ont., London (OHL); Dawson Mercer, Bay Roberts, N.L., Chicoutimi (QMJHL); Alex Newhook, St. John’s, N.L., Boston College (NCAA); Jakob Pelletier, Quebec City, Val-d’Or (QMJHL); Cole Perfetti, Whitby, Ont., Saginaw; Samuel Poulin, Blainville, Que., Sherbrooke (QMJHL); Jack Quinn, Cobden, Ont., Ottawa (OHL); Jamieson Rees, Hamilton, Sarnia (OHL); Cole Schwindt, Kitchener, Ont., Mississauga (OHL); Xavier Simoneau, Saint-André-Avellin, Que., Drummondville (QMJHL); Ryan Suzuki, London, Ont., Saginaw (OHL); Philip Tomasino, Mississauga, Ont., Oshawa (OHL); Shane Wright, Burlington, Ont., Kingston (OHL); Connor Zary, Saskatoon, Kamloops (WHL).
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 29, 2020.
The Canadian Press
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