Welcome to a journey inside Patent 5 Distillery, where the art of distilling spirits is not just a process but a passion deeply rooted in history and innovation. Hidden away in a barrel room that exudes character and warmth, Brock Coutts, the mastermind behind the Winnipeg-based distillery, opens up about the evolution of his craft, the challenges of working within a heritage building in the Exchange District, and the exciting future that lies ahead with new spirit releases.
Four years ago, Patent 5 began its adventure with a distilling license, a vision for excellence, and a dedication to creating spirits that resonate with the taste and history of their surroundings. In the ensuing time, the distillery has not only adapted and evolved but also surpassed the initial business plan projections. What started as a boutique establishment primarily producing vodka and gin has now transitioned into an exciting period of whiskey and rum production.
The obsession with detail and the maniacal focus on the nuances of aging spirits are what set Patent 5 apart. With approximately 250 barrels of whiskey and rum aging in their barrel room—a hidden oasis of oak and spirits—the distillery eagerly awaits the day their blends reach perfect maturity. The process is neither simple nor quick. Brock admits that it’s a blend of science, patience, and a constant learning curve. From the influence of the building’s temperature to the precise nature of barrel charring, every factor contributes to the unique profile of each batch.
Distilling is an art championed by the entire team at Patent 5, a small yet mighty group that is as passionate about spirits as Brock is. This dedication is evident in their innovative approaches, such as using Manitoba-grown grain and experimenting with local ingredients like Kernza and peat. One of their proudest achievements is the rum they concocted with a fermentation process that would be familiar to a Jamaican distiller, resulting in a sipping rum that is gaining acclaim for its layered complexity and smoothness.
Their commitment to their craft and locale is further emphasized by Brock’s quest for a distillery space that told a story as rich as the spirits they would create. The Exchange District, known for its historic charm and robust energy, was an obvious choice, though not without its challenges—the restoration and adaptation of an old building required dedication and patience.
The future is ripe with opportunity for Patent 5. As they approach their fifth anniversary of serving cocktails in their cocktail room, they continue to push boundaries and defy expectations. In the coming years, the distillery looks forward to offering a diverse range of spirits, including the possibility of crafting the best whiskey in the world. With Brock’s unwavering enthusiasm and unrelenting commitment to quality, Patent 5 Distillery is poised to continue making history—one distilled spirit at a time.