Our Story

Canada's Premier Rum Producer

Collage of archival photos featuring Emilio Picariello.

The Untold History of Alberta Rum Running

Alberta has a history of bold entrepreneurs who were willing to take risks to achieve their goals. One of the most notorious of these was Emilio Picariello, infamously known as 'Emperor Pic'. When Prohibition began, he saw an opportunity and quickly built a significant rum running operation.

Operating from his headquarters in the Blairmore Hotel in the Crowsnest Pass, Emperor Pic ran rum through the tight mountain passes of Alberta, British Columbia and the US Pacific Northwest.

Romero Distilling is built on a rich and mostly untold history of rum running in the west.

Collage of archival photos featuring Blairmore Alberta

Emporer Pic

Although the law considered him a criminal, Emilio had another side. He often made generous charitable contributions to the community, funded a miners’ strike, and gave Christmas presents to poor families with some of the profits from his illegal bootlegging operation.

Learn more about the history behind rum running in Alberta by booking one of our unique tours.

Continuing The Tradition

Although Romero Distilling Co. stays on the right side of the law, we do continue one of Emilio's traditions of giving back to our local community through staff volunteer efforts and ongoing contributions to local charities.

Our rums are exceptional and truly Canadian.

Romero Distilling Co.

We are a family owned and operated luxury rum distillery based in Calgary, AB.  We started in 2018 and have quickly grown to be the largest rum distillery in Canada making rum from scratch.  We make an international award winning lineup of rums which are terrific sipped neat, on ice, or in a premium cocktail.

Meet the Team
  • Respect

    Respect for our customers, community, employees and environment.

  • Use

    Use of local, premium Canadian made ingredients and equipment.

  • Modesty

    Modesty, an appreciation for the rich heritage of rum making.