04/03/2014 12:37 EDT | Updated 06/03/2014 05:59 EDT

Kootenay distillery rolls out organic craft gin

An entrepreneur in the Slocan Valley is the first in the Kootenay region of B.C. to set up a commercial organic distillery.

It took Kevin Goodwin four years to begin distilling vodka at his ranch near Winlaw.

To get started, he first studied distilling under a master of the trade in Seattle. Then, using a fair chunk of the bank's money, he built a distillery deep in the Slocan Valley and negotiated the spider web of bureaucracy it takes to legally make booze

"Nobody had done it in the Kootenays. It was quite a process. We hold five different licenses," he told CBC News.

Goodwin has just begun marketing his first vodka in liquor stores around Nelson under the name Kootenay Country Craft. He hopes to start selling organic gin and whiskey next.           

He notes small, organic distilleries have taken off in the U.S. cities like Portland and Denver, which have dozens of local outfits making vodka, gin, whiskey and all kinds of other spirits.    

"It's much like the craft beer movement of the 90's. Small, local and people started going down and seeing it and they supported an industry," he says.