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Craft distillery planned for North River

A plebiscite has been requested in North River for permission to convert from a dry community to a wet one in order to establish a craft distiller there.
A plebiscite has been requested in North River for permission to convert from a dry community to a wet one in order to establish a craft distillery there. - Submitted

Plebiscite required to convert from ‘dry’ to ‘wet’ community

NORTH RIVER, N.S.

This community could soon be home to its own craft distillery but not before its residents have had a chance to weigh in.

“We’re hoping to be in production in May,” said Jill Lingquist, president of the Raging Crow Distillery Inc., which plans to produce such spirits as rum, rye, gin and vodka, along with some specialty concoctions and flavoured liqueurs.

First though, a community plebiscite must be held to determine whether the residents are in favour of switching from a “dry” community to a “wet” community.

Like more than 100 other areas of Nova Scotia, North River has officially been listed as a “dry” community ever since Prohibition was repealed in the province in 1930.

A plebiscite is expected to be held in May.

After almost nine years at the Parkland senior’s residence in Truro, Linquist is stepping away from her position as Lifestyle consultant to run the Raging Crow enterprise, where she will also oversee the marketing and distribution duties. She is the wife of provincial court Judge Al Bégin, who also has a vineyard behind the couple’s North River home.

“There is a growth in that industry and people are willing to try different things and support local,” she said.

“I think it will just be a fun venture. It’s certainly been a personal interest, whether it’s wine or craft beer or a food, it’s always been a personal interest of mine. So, it will be fun, sort of combining a hobby with a passion.”

Providing the plebiscite goes as hoped, Linquist said the company will also be partnering with local suppliers for some of the products they will be using in the distillery.

“We’re going to try and purchase local as much as possible,” she said.

Company vice-president Kris Pruski, a retired professor from the Dalhousie Agriculture Campus, is to serve as the distiller.

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