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Distillerie Comont

Interviews

Distillerie Comont: From the earth to our hands to the bottle

When you stroll through the streets of Bedford in the Eastern Townships, you quickly notice a huge red-brick building. A vestige of the industrial era, this old needle factory has become a creative hub and an artists’ residence, and it’s where Samuel Gaudette and Vanessa Cliche have set up their stills.

Published on August 21, 2023

When I arrived at Comont, I was immediately impressed by the light that filtered through the enormous windows of this gigantic building. This is where I met Vanessa and Sam. 

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Welcomed with open arms

The warmth that permeates the place reflects its two kind and passionate creators. Vanessa explained, “When you come into our distillery, you come into our family, our living room—we want to be welcoming, we want customers to have an incredible experience. It isn’t every day that you can show up, see exactly how things are made and check out the facilities. It’s not an industry that’s well known in Quebec, either. So, seeing a still is pretty cool! We welcome you with open arms so you can feel our passion. We’ll explain everything and answer all your questions. Transparency is really important to us. What sort of yeast we use, how much I’ve invested in my company to get to this point—I’ve got nothing to hide.” 

Travelling to make things come to life

I then asked how they made their dream a reality. Vanessa answered, “A tour of European distilleries really allowed us to make the Comont project happen. By seeing all kinds of distilleries—big, small, artisanal, industrial—it helped us determine what we wanted. It’s really there that we realized we wanted something small and personal of our own that’s aligned with our values. It allowed us to realize that it was possible. It seemed like a huge step to take, from ‘oh cool, we want to have a distillery,’ to the reality of having one. It’s what helped us to understand things and put them in perspective.”

“For us, it’s important to remain a company on a human level, to put people first. There’s this expression in the distillery world, ‘from the grain to the bottle.’ And we have our tagline, which is ‘From the earth to our hands to the bottle,’ because people are at the heart of this project. We also include all raw materials, because we don’t only produce grain. It’s also important that we offer customers high-quality products. We’re very much purists—we work only with fresh herbs. We don’t work with natural flavouring or things like that.”

- Vanessa Cliche

Innovation and the environment

Samuel and Vanessa are renowned for having fermented and distilled the first agave spirit in Quebec. It’s distinguished by its elegance and roundness, its delicate fruity notes, as well as a salty finish. But innovation doesn’t stop there for the couple. I asked them to talk about their latest creation. 

“This vodka-like pastry spirit is a 100% circular economy product. We have partnerships with St-Hubert, Nutrifrance and Arctic Gardens to collect unsold or unsellable products (sugar pies, muffins, cookies, and frozen vegetables). We give these items destined for landfill a second life by transforming them into alcohol. It’s a spirit that’s now certified carbon neutral by LCL Environnement. It’s like we took all our values and distilled them into one product. Respect for the environment is a value that’s very dear to us. Distillation is a process that uses a lot of water and resources, so we try as much as possible to limit our carbon footprint. Once again, it’s on a human scale. A lot of effort and energy go into every bottle. The pie dough, we just scoop it in—everything is handmade and processed at the distillery from start to finish.”

At Comont, we often say “put your boots in the bath and your coat on the bed.” We want you to feel like you’re joining a family party. The Comont experience is about human warmth, great ambiance, an enchanting setting, and unique, inspired spirits!”

distilleriecomont.ca

 110 rue de la Rivière, suite 112, Bedford

QC  J0J 1A0, Canada

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