This is Deandra Bailey, Chief Brand Officer at Lucky Bastard Distillers in Saskatoon.
Deandra has been working there since the very beginning in 2012 when the distillery opened inspired by a lottery win. Husband and wife Michael Goldney and Lacey Crocker won the lottery while Michael had a career as a family doctor. He retired from medicine and they decided to partner up with their friend Cary Bowman to open the first micro-distillery to operate in Saskatoon since prohibition. Deandra was working at Michael’s clinic as a part-time job while she was in university. She decided to leave the clinic and has been working with them since. She didn’t have a lot of interest or knowledge in the world of spirits at that time and almost 10 years later, it’s now become her whole life. As a Chief Brand Officer, her role is to make sure that everything they do at the distillery is in line with the vision established by the shareholders from a marketing perspective. She also oversees the production to ensure that new products align with the brand’s identity.
Lucky Bastard Distillers have a wide array of products. When they originally opened, they wanted to be a whisky distillery, but since making Canadian whisky requires a minimum of three years of aging, they started with vodka and gin. Both are made with neutral grain spirit sourced locally with 100% saskatoon wheat. They produce an extensive selection of flavored vodkas with creative flavors such as blood orange and hibiscus, coconut and lime, and dill pickle to only name a few. All of which are made using natural ingredients. As for gin, they produce a western-style dry gin that they call Gambit gin and they also have a haskap gin, their twist on a sloe gin since the latter is not available in the province. And almost 10 years after their opening, they now make whisky and rum. Their whiskies are aged in a mix of one-time used bourbon barrels and new American oak barrels. As for their rums, they import molasses and sugar cane juice from the Caribbean and produce rums that are sold as special releases for holidays and such. Lastly, they also make fruit liqueurs using the indigenous berries that grow in their region. All of this is made possible by Ginger and Magic Mike, their original copper pot still and more recently acquired stripping still.
Overall, Lucky Bastard Distillers appears to be quite a versatile distillery that has managed to achieve a fine balance between customer demand-driven products and passion-driven products. If vodka sure pays the bill, they have a very extensive, fun, and creative line of products that are sure to please everyone who stops there, from the cocktail aficionados to professionals from our industry. If luck had it that they were able to bring to life their passion for micro-distilling, down the line it’s their passion and expertise that shines through the final result.