The Camden Garden Club invites you to a free public talk about using botanicals in spirits on August 24 from 9:30 to 10:30. Note the change in venue. The presentation will take place at St. Thomas’ Episcopal Church, Camden.
Andrew Stewart, Co-founder of Blue Barren Distillery in Camden, will discuss making a variety of exciting spirits using local and exotic botanicals and ingredients. He will be giving a presentation about using plants in spirit making and alcohol production, inspired by traditional European farm distillery methods.
Born in Scotland, Andrew studied Biology at St Andrews University, working in London and Botswana before moving to Maine in 2005 when he renovated and reopened the previously closed Hope General Store. After nine years he sold the store and worked as the Executive Director of Hope Elephants.
In 2015 he opened ‘The Drouthy Bear’ a Scottish pub in the center of Camden. One winter’s evening, Jeremy Howard, a seventh generation blueberry farmer from Hope, was having a beer at the Drouthy Bear, in Camden owned by his friend Andrew Stewart. They decided to tap into their joint expertise and work together to resource and distill blueberries using traditional French Eau de Vie and Calvados methods.
As delightful to pronounce as it is to drink, eau-de-vie (pronounced “O-da-VIE,” French for “water of life”) is one of the most underrated spirits in the United States. The goal of and Eau-de-Vie is to capture the essence of whatever it’s made from. Because it’s un-aged, Eau-de-Vie is often colorless, but sometimes it can take on a slight hue, in this case, blue.
Three years later, Andrew and Jeremy opened the doors of Blue Barren Distillery to the public on the Camden Harbor waterfront. They released their first run of Barren’s Blueberry Eau de Vie after fermenting 16 tons of locally grown, wild Maine blueberries.
The oldest garden club in Maine, the Camden Garden Club cultivates the art of gardening to its fullest sense, develops and preserves beauty in and around Camden, and promotes civic improvements, education, and conservation of natural resources. For more information on the Club and its activities visit camdengardenclub.org.