ESTEVAN - A new business in Estevan is giving people an opportunity to make their own wine and other alcoholic beverages.
Crazy Corks, located in the 600-block of Fourth Street, allows people to pick out the ingredients to take home and make their wine. The business also has the equipment needed to start brewing. And they have the brewing room, reserved for people to ferment and make their own wine within the store.
“It’s required that you have to do two visits into the store,” said Bruce Craig, who owns the business with his fiancée Anita Rieland. “And that will be to put the yeast in and to do the bottling. That is required by [Saskatchewan] Liquor and Gaming.
“We can do all of the other steps for you, but you have to make two visits. When the product is done, we will phone you, you come in, bottle your wine, which we can assist you in, but you are to actually bottle your own wine.”
Crazy Corks opened on April 5 and has been busy since that time. They secured their brewing permit on April 28 and the brewing room has been full.
“I can’t say anything negative about the community on the support. It’s been great,” said Craig.
For each kit, people can have 200 millilitres of wine to taste test in the store
If people aren’t sure how to operate a home-brewing system, then Craig and Rieland will explain every step so that people understand for next time.
“We will walk you through that whole process to start your fermentation. We’ll do it right through to the bottom if you want by telephone, or I will even go to their house. She can go to the house.”
Rieland has been brewing for 15 years and Craig has been making his own wine for 10 or 11 years.
They can also help people with beer and spirits.
“We can do carbonated wine,” said Craig. “We can do beer. We do it in a keg. We do it in bottles. We put wine on tap.”
Crazy Corks carries ingredients for four different types of beers, from Nova Scotia to B.C., including Paddockwood Brewing in Saskatoon.
But wine has proven to be the most popular drawing card thus far. The Orchard Breeze fruit wine is expected to be the most popular this summer. They will add fruit to enhance the body, flavour and colour of the beverage. And the wine is filtered twice before it goes into the bottle.
And they will conduct alcohol testing for the wine.
Custom labels are a popular offering for the business.
“If you wanted to have your name on your wine, the year or the name of your wine, we can put that all on a label on your wine,” said Craig.
They cited a commemorative bottle of wine for a wedding as one example in which the label would be a great idea.
The wines will range in quality from the highest-calibre to fruity wines.
Craig said brewing their own wine has allowed them to meet a variety of people and have a lot of fun.
“You get to joke and carry on. And the different people. That’s the thing that we like,” said Craig. “The craft of the wines, how they turn out, seeing the reaction on people’s faces when they taste it.”
“It’s a learning process for people to come in and to learn,” added Rieland.
Crazy Corks is bringing in giftware as well, such as wine charms, fridge magnets and wine racks. The latter are made in Saskatchewan and can range from six to 100 bottles. They are the Canadian distributor for Fast Fermenting Canada, so anything ordered online from the company can be picked up at Crazy Corks.
The building that houses the business was recently renovated to accommodate a wine store company. There are two part-time employees in addition to Craig and Rieland.