A craft distillery is gearing up to open its doors in Lacombe.

Old Prairie Sentinel Distillery is the labour of love of two long time Central Albertans, Rob Gugin and Steve Dick.

They've set up shop in the Wolf Creek Industrial Park, right next to Blindman Brewing in hopes of capitalizing on some likeminded customers that enjoy supporting local and have an appreciation of the craft market.

Rob Gugin is the Head Distiller, he explains how the idea for this venture came together following a visit from his now partner in the business “he knew I was interested in brewing and I have a background in brewing, an extensive history in home brewing, so he brought me a recipe that he thought was a beer recipe that he had found as a kid and he kept all these years and thought I could benefit from it. It ended being an old moonshine recipe, so that’s sort of how we started talking and the idea grew into this from there”.

That recipe is behind one of the first products that will be hitting their shelves, a barrel spice gin, they'll also be launching with a prairie berry dry gin, a premium single malt vodka and a pickled pepper vodka.

Gugin explains the inspiration behind their name Old Prairie Sentinel “prairie sentinel is a grain elevator, that’s what they were called. They used to stand in every little town, every little town had a prairie sentinel or a grain elevator that stood over the community, and it usually had the name on the side and that’s how you knew you were in whichever little town you were in. We liked that kind of idea that we are standing in Lacombe and sort of a beacon of pride hopefully for the community”.

Gugin is also inspired by the Mintlaw grain elevator which was built back in 1923 south of Red Deer and later moved to a farm northeast of Blackfalds, and he has grand plans to help save that piece of history.
The moonshine recipe that inspired their business was also found in a grain elevator.

Old Prairie Sentinel sources their ingredients local with two row malt from Rahr Malting in Alix.

They will be opening with a retail storefront with the production in the back; they have grand plans for a tasting room down the road.

They hope to open the doors late this month, watch for updates at opsd.ca, or Old Prairie Sentinel Distillery on Facebook and @opsdalberta on Twitter