• Shelley Boettcher

TRIBUTE craft spirits festival coming up in Banff

Looking for a fresh new way to fall in love with the Rocky Mountains? Something that lets you stay warm—and have fun with friends—inside, looking out?

Then you may want to check out the TRIBUTE Craft Spirits Celebration, Jan. 15 to 26, 2020 in Banff and Lake Louise, Alberta.

Part of SnowDays, an annual celebration of all things winter in the region, TRIBUTE is a partnership between Made with Love and Banff and Lake Louise Tourism.

It pairs Canadian small-batch distillers with Banff and Lake Louise restaurants. Each must create at least one special cocktail that showcases what they have to offer.

This year's event will feature more than 100 cocktails and will culminate with the Outdoor Tasting Experience— featuring every distiller in attendance—on Jan. 24 and 25.

Participating distilleries include Bohemian Spirits, Burwood Distillery, Confluence Distilling, Eau Claire Distillery, Park Distillery, Secret Barrel Distillery and many more.

And participating restaurants and resorts include Sky Bistro, The Bison, Nourish Bistro, The Maple Leaf Grill and Lounge, Coyotes Southwestern Grill, The Eddie, Sleeping Buffalo at Buffalo Mountain Lodge, the Fairmont Banff Springs and the Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise and others.

"This is a one-of-a-kind event with a focus on spirits," says Pierre-Olivier Trempe, TRIBUTE producer and Made with Love founder. "It is the biggest gathering of micro-distilleries from the Western provinces in one place with a bonus—one distillery from Montreal is attending this year."

The Fairmont Banff Springs and Chateau Lake Louise will host the Fairmont Craft Cocktail Competition; and The Block will host Crafty Bites and Spirits, a 100-per-cent locally sourced dinner paired with cocktails.

"But TRIBUTE isn't only about tasting and eating," Trempe says. It's about learning, too. Free seminars will be announced next week; during the seminars, each distiller will present a short 20-minute talk and tasting.

Subjects will include secrets of the trade, distillery history, local ingredients and more. "It is a true occasion to meet the distillers and know a bit more about their craft and secrets," Trempe adds.

Book the Pursuit Banff Jasper Collection Calgary-Banff shuttle and save 20 per cent with the code TRIBUTE20. And for information on hotel packages or to just find out more on how you can book your stay, click here.

And a bonus, of course: the location can't be beat, Trempe says. "The view of the mountains is magical, day or night."

#cocktails #RockyMountains #Banff #LakeLouise #MadewithLove