Behind the Name: Saskatoon's Black Fox Farm and Distillery

How this award-winning Prairie distillery got its name

In the outskirts of Saskatoon, there lies a small farm doing incredible things. Actually, it is not just a farm, it is also a distillery putting out some of the most dynamic spirits that our country has to offer.

Founded by husband-and-wife duo John and Barbe Cote in August 2015, Black Fox Farm and Distillery has created a line of award-winning spirits using Saskatchewan-grown ingredients, many of which they grow on the farm themselves. An impressive–and appropriately boozy–example of Saskatchewan terroir.

The reason why the couple settled on a type of animal for the name of their farm and distillery is quite a thoughtful one.

“The name of our distillery captures the idea that although everyone is familiar with the common red fox, a black fox is unique. In the same manner, though there are many distilleries in the world, [what we do here] is unique,” says Barb Cote.

If you're not familiar with a black fox, here's a fun fact for you: This rare version of fox originates from the same family as a red fox, but gets its colour due to a genetic anomaly that produces melanism–a dark pigmentation.

From a literal black fox to a name of a paint and a serial number on a piece of distilling machinery sent from Germany for the Cotes to use in their processes, it seems like the name was meant to be. A couple years ago, the Canadian federal government gifted the new empress of Japan with a bottle of this distillery's gin specifically because the black fox represents agriculture, rice and sake in Japanese folklore.

“Many odd things have happened to us when we started the business that made us believe we chose the right name. For example, when it came to paint the floors in the distillery, we were trying to match a certain colour in our design and we were quite surprised that the supplier told us he did have a matching paint colour and it was named 'Black Fox'." explains Barb Cote.

The distillery is currently open for tastings on Fridays and Saturdays from 12-5 p.m. Online orders can be made as well with delivery available to most Canadian provinces and territories.