Ampersand Distilling Company is a family founded craft distillery located on a five acre organic farm in the Cowichan Valley.

Though trained as engineers, father-son duo Stephen and Jeremy Schacht have used their knowledge of science and traditional distilling techniques to create a hand crafted distillery where they can make hand crafted spirits.

Like the Ampersand, we are all about bringing things together; ingredients & techniques; science & art; tradition & innovation. We make delicious spirits designed to be a staple on your bar.

Ampersand Gin

Ampersand Gin is our flagship product, an instant classic, that brings together organic BC wheat with eight organic & wild harvested botanicals and our own spring water.

Ampersand Gin plays well with others in your favourite cocktails, but it's also brilliant on its own. And since it's made from scratch with organic botanicals and organic BC wheat, we think it's a better gin. Period.

Per Se Vodka

Per Se Vodka is the pure expression of the 100% organic BC grown wheat we use to make our spirits. The grain is milled, fermented, and distilled, before being diluted with our own spring water to create a spirit with body, sweetness, and a creamy mouth-feel. This vodka is best enjoyed sipped solo, but in true Ampersand fashion, it works well in your favourite cocktail.

Our Story

Necessity is the mother of invention, and needing a job after graduation Jeremy set out to create his own. Combining his degree in chemical engineering and his parent's love of organic farming, the distillery was the inventive solution.

Despite being busy with other businesses, Stephen & Ramona moved to the Cowichan Valley in 2007 to start an organic vegetable farm. Their son Jeremy, unexcited by job prospects after graduating in 2010, set out to find an innovative way to put his degree in chemical process engineering to use. The distillery is a result of that innovation, leading to a new family business with his parents and his partner Jessica.

Jessica McLeod

Born and raised on Vancouver Island, Jessica received a BFA Theatre from the University of Victoria in 2010. In addition to working as a stage manager for theatre companies from BC to Saskatchewan, she has spent the last four years helping to found the distillery, and creating with Jeremy the distinctive recipe for Ampersand Gin.

Jeremy Schacht

Born and raised in Victoria BC, Jeremy attended the University of British Columbia and graduated with a BASc Chemical Engineering. An interest in craft beer and cocktails led to many road trips through the cocktail bars, distilleries, and breweries of the Pacific Northwest - and ultimately sparked an interest in distilling as a career.

Stephen Schacht

A man with many interests and abilities, Stephen has been an entreprenuer, artisan, and inventor all his life. His background ranges from electrical engineering to jewellery making - skills that are surprisingly useful when building a distillery. As the raconteur of the family, his passion is contagious - and you can experience it first hand when you catch him at the Farmers' Market or visit him at the distillery.

Ramona Froehle-Schacht

The recent sale of Out of Hand has freed up more time for Ramona to assist with sales and bottling, in addition to providing overall support to the Ampersand team. Ramona also manages the small, organic farm where the distillery lies, growing berries, row crops and tending a large greenhouse where delectable heirloom tomatoes take pride of place.

The Stills

The stills are the heart of a distillery, and we designed and built ours from scratch. We make our spirits in a 1000L pot still and a 500L packed column still. The column, packed with tiny coils for maximum surface area, produces alcohol of 97% and fractions easily between the heads, hearts, and tails. With our batch distillation process, we remove all impurities for the highest quality and best tasting spirit.

The Tasting Room

Open by appointment only, we are happy to give you a tour and a taste at the distillery tasting room. Sidle up for recipes and stories at the bar, made from a slab of douglas fir from the property and the same type of iron pipes that power our stills. We bring our tasting room to the Duncan Farmers' Market every Saturday and the Oak Bay night market from May to September.