Staff at a small Sooke distillery are still stunned after they were awarded for making the world’s best contemporary gin.

Sheringham Distillery won the honour last week at the 2019 World Gin Awards hosted by Gin Magazine in London, England.

Their Seaside Gin was first recognized as the best in Canada, an amazing moment for Sheringham’s owners.

Then, as the Canadian winner, it was up against 22 other gins from the rest of the world, landing at the very top of the heap.

"Thrilled and thankful," said an elated Alayne MacIsaac, co-owner and CEO of Sheringham Distillery. "It really is a dream come true. We were never expecting anything like this. We just keep making a spirit that we love and we're happy that other people love it too."

Sheringham Distillery has been making gin and other spirits over the last four years.

It was initially opened by Alayne and her husband Jason MacIsaac, who is co-owner and distiller, in tiny Shirley, B.C.

Last July they moved their operation to Sooke, allowing them to expand to more markets.

They say their winning gin has a unique blend of ingredients including winged kelp, sustainably harvested from the Strait of Juan de Fuca.

"The Seaside Gin is our flagship," said Jason MacIsaac. "The kelp in the Seaside gin gives it…a kind of sense of terroir, a sense of the region. The kelp also ties all the botanicals together and balances them out and gives it a sense of umami."

The owners say they are hoping the win will give them more exposure, and help them share their gin with a lot more people.

It’s currently for sale in private liquor stores in B.C., Alberta, and Manitoba.