It was a wild 2019 for Whisky Quarterly Ontario: What started as a whisky club for groups of us to build our collections from existing LCBO stock has changed quite dramatically. Here’s a bit of what 2019 brought us:
- AGCO license for importing
- A growing number of events
- Spencer Gooderham, Canadian Whisky Ambassador is working alongside us
- 270+ people in a buying group
- 15+ distilleries onboarding, 70+ in discussion
- Approval for a $30k in funding from the Accelerator Centre in Waterloo
While all of these are deeply satisfying, a few of them stand out – The third, fifth and sixth. Having worked with Spencer on a few events, I have always loved his presentation and passion for spirits. When I told him more about what I was planning towards with WQO, he immediately seemed intrigued and we set out with some ideas of how to work together – Events and experiences for our exclusive partners.
To achieve my AGCO license in 2019, I was required to have a distillery agree to representation. I was thrilled to have two of them that stepped up: Cascade Street Distillery and Ironclad Distillery. It has been a pleasure to work alongside them as we have navigated the LCBO together in preparing them for sale in Ontario.
The Accelerator Centre, based in Waterloo, has its Jumpstart program and I was recently awarded the option for $30k in funding. While I ultimately chose to defer until the next intake, it was a huge validation that an incubator, normally known for more exclusively tech-focused ventures, saw what I was looking to build.
So, “what” is it that Whisky Quarterly Ontario is building towards?
Since the beginning of WQO, I have heard time and time again “Getting the LCBO stock is great, but can we get items from outside Ontario?”.
I am happy to say, starting in 2020, the answer will be a resounding YES! We will be launching our exclusive membership, which will give you access to our exclusive distillery partners.
No large membership costs
No convoluted processes
No restrictions on quantities
See a spirit you like. Order it, we’ll deal with the “joy of importing” and let you know when it has arrived to coordinate shipping.
And I know, our name might make you think otherwise, but we’ve also heard “When are you going to do Gin Quarterly? Do you know any good rums? Can you find a liqueur like this?
Again, the answer is YES! In our discussions with distillers if they also make vodka, gin, rum, absinthe, etc we will have access to them as well.
Of course, all of this will still flow through the LCBO, as required within the Province of Ontario. However, you will have access to unique, craft distillers that the LCBO does not carry. We’re signing up distilleries from across Canada, the United States and internationally.
How will the membership work?
A few ways, to ensure that you get the most value out:
- Annual membership for $100 per year. This is renewed on an annual basis.
- Monthly membership at $9.99 per month, for those who prefer the Netflix-style of things
For those who want something special, or just a darned good deal! We will be offering the Whisky Quarterly Ontario Founders Membership. Not only will you get the annual membership for $75 for your first year, for as long as your membership is active you’ll maintain your Founders status, get early access and discounts to tasting events, a gift recognizing your status and ongoing benefits exclusive to Whisky Quarterly Ontario Founders.
You will be able to purchase your Whisky Quarterly Ontario Founders Membership until May 1, 2020.
So, what’s next? What are the next steps?
Let us know by submitting the form below if you’re interested in the Founders Membership, and we’ll be in touch. Do you know someone who would like this – Someone who craves unique spirits but doesn’t want to deal with the headaches? Send them our way!
The standard annual membership and monthly memberships will be available soon. We have some other surprises coming in 2020, but you’ll have to wait for now.
Have a distillery from around the world you wish you could get in Ontario? Let us know, and we’ll do our best to bring them into the fold for our members to enjoy together. Stay tuned so we can all enjoy a glass together in 2020.
My very (excited) best,
Founder of Whisky Quarterly Ontario