A small business in a Nova Scotia village is celebrating its success as it garners international attention and awards from cities like New York and San Francisco.

Thomas Steinhart and his family have had their finger in the distillery business for generations.

“I learned distilling when I was young from my grandfather. I was, really, I think, four years old,” says Steinhart. “My mom has a picture somewhere where I put wood in my grandfather’s wood-fired still.”

Steinhart built his own vodka and gin distillery in Arisaig, N.S. in 2012 and sold his first bottle in 2014. He uses a variety of herbs, spices and berries to give his spirits a complex, unique flavour.

“Everything I do, if it says strawberry on it, comes from local strawberries,” he explains. “If it says maple on it, it comes from local maple.”

That has earned the Steinhart Distillery medals from both the San Francisco World Spirits Competition and New York World Wine and Spirits Competition.

“We have the right spot. We have the perfect water for making spirits,” says Steinhart.

He employs about half a dozen people, including the carpenter who helped build the distillery.

“We helped do a lot of work here, just stayed on and kept working and never left,” says Alan MacGillivary.

Steinhart is now looking to expand his market outside of Canada and will be travelling to China next month to take part in some trade shows.

With files from CTV Atlantic's Dan MacIntosh