THE ART OF DEFYING CONVENTION
*Behind every menu, product and experience, you’ll find passionate people and their stories. Discover these proud Outaouais ambassadors!
Pierre Mantha talks fast. Thinks fast. Acts fast. He’s a non-conformist. Pierre Mantha is the man behind the first microdistillery in the Outaouais and possibly the largest artisanal distillery in Canada: Artist in Residence.
“I do it for fun. I’m not an alcohol lover, I’m a project lover,” he explains. Here’s an entrepreneur like no other. Indeed, who invests $5 million in a distillery in three years … before selling a single bottle?
Visionary or dreamer?
Born in Gatineau, he followed in his father’s footsteps and specialized in heavy truck mechanics. His dynamism led him ever further. “I enjoy working; I have drive.” No doubt about that!
A few years later, during one of his trips to Colombia, he came up with the idea for his next project, nothing to do with truck engines: producing alcohol. After travelling the United States to do his research, he returned to Gatineau and built his own ultramodern microdistillery with outsized proportions. In true artisanal fashion, everything is locally sourced: the spring water is drawn on site, the corn comes from the surrounding land, and the ethanol is produced right in the building. “There are only two of us in Quebec doing everything from A to Z. We follow the old methods, but we’ll never follow the herd!”
His dream is to create more than 20 products that will appeal to the mixologists of the world. “I love what I do, and I want to bring something new to the area. I take a beating every day, but I learn something every day. It takes guts, “he says confidently.
The secret recipe? Combine two parts daring, one part intuition, add a team of experts, stir, and garnish with a hint of dream.
Enthusiasts will have a chance to taste the microdistillery’s very first product this summer, when Waxwing Bohemian Gin makes its debut at the SAQ.
Discover more inspiring profiles on our Ambassadors page!