June 25, 2013 – One of the two whisky distilleries closed as a result of massive flooding in southern Alberta has re-opened. Alberta Distillers in Calgary resumed operations late Monday afternoon (June 24), according to Beam Global spokeswoman Paula Erickson. The distillery was undamaged in last week’s flooding along the Bow and Elbow Rivers, but was forced to shut down when police closed roads in the area around the distillery.
23 miles to the south, Highwood Distillers in High River remains closed as much of the town is still flooded and under mandatory evacuation orders. Highwood, which makes Centennial, Century Reserve, White Owl, Potter’s, and Highwood whiskies and supplies bulk whisky to independent bottlers, was forced to close Thursday (June 20) after electricity service failed. The distillery is located about a kilometer (.6 miles) from the Highwood River, and operations manager Jarrod Grant told WhiskyCast’s Mark Gillespie Monday that he’s waiting for police to allow him and his team to check on the distillery. The CBC reports local officials believe the town could be closed off for several days to as long as a week.
At least three people have died in the flooding, and Alberta Premier Alison Redford has said a full recovery could take up to ten years and cost $1 billion (CDN).
This story will be updated as more details are available.