If you’re like me, when the weekend hits, the idea of a road trip always sounds appealing – And no, I am not meaning to the nearest LCBO location!
One of the things being an Ontario-based importer of spirits is I never want to overlook some truly amazing manufacturers right on our own doorstep. Ontario is home to an ever-growing, ever-changing craft distillery landscape. If you’re around the Greater Horseshoe or in Southwestern Ontario, make sure to check out the amazing product lines from these Ontario craft distillers.
Located in Beamsville, between Toronto and Niagara Falls, this amazing distillery has a wide assortment of spirits to enjoy. Their rye whisky is my personal favourite, but make sure to try their gin, white rye and absinthe as well.
Just across Hwy 7 from where we are in Guelph is where you’ll find Dixon’s. Like many distilleries, Dixon’s emerged out of a conversation over drinks and turned into a great distillery with focused on hand-crafted craftsmanship that has garnered them some accolades. If you’re a gin or vodka lover – Put this into your GPS.
When many people think of Stratford, Ontario, they think of the Festival Theatre and Shakespeare. Visit Junction 56 and you’ll be thinking “whisky”! When two friends agreed “We should make a barrel of whisky in my garage!” great things happen! From whisky and gin to vodkas and their delicious Mint Smoothie liqueur, stop by and enjoy!
Heading to Vaughan Mills for some shopping? Located just off the 400, pop in and see the team at Last Straw Distillery. An incredibly diverse range from rum, Golden Gin, Stout Spirit and yes, sCorn whisky (not a typo) just delicious!
Mavericks are known to do things differently – Maverick Distillery holds the title of Ontario’s first craft distillery, opening in 2009. Located in Oakville, Ontario you’d be hard-pressed not to recognize their brands: Tag Vodka, Barnburner whisky and Gunslinger gin.
Take a trip to Elmira and get your ‘shine on with Murphy’s Law Moonshine. From humble beginnings and a modest 100 gallon pot still this ain’t your typical moonshine! Apple Pie, Key Lime, Root Beer – A taste to suit anyone’s palate!
“Capturing the essence of the Falls in every bottle”. How could you say no? Enjoy their rye, gin, vodka – Or go distinctly Canadian with their Distilled Maple Whisky.
Located in the Junction neighbourhood in Toronto, Nickel 9 Distillery believes all their innovation comes from being nestled in one right in the heart of TO. Enjoy their crisp Northern Temple vodka, beautifully balanced gin – Or if you’re feeling ambitious for your home bar – They also create syrups and bitters. Your next cocktail party is going to rock!
I always have fond memories of Arthur heading north to cottage country in the summer – Now it has me even more excited with the opening of Silver Fox Distillery. Grab a bottle of their 3-grain, 100 proof moonshine, Baron Von Ripple butterscotch liqueur for sipping (or ice cream) or make the morning coffee even sweeter with their Sugar Shack maple liqueur.
Back to Guelph we go, with a familiar name. Sleeman. Yes, 183 years later, the Sleemans are back in distilling with Spring Mill Distillery. Stop into enjoy their smooth and versatile vodka, or their gin pulling botanicals from Ontario with flavours of pine, green leaf as well as mint.
Heading down the 401 you’ll find Union Ten Distillery in London, Ontario. Self-proclaimed liquid nerds, Union Ten has crossed North America to gain a deep understanding of what it takes to craft amazing spirits. Enjoy their spirits alongside a meal at their Proof + Parrot restaurant.
Right in the middle of the tranquility of Ayr, Ontario is Willibald Farm Distillery. Come and enjoy their gin, Pink gin and if you’re a beer drinker – They’re also a brewery, so don’t forget your growlers.
Is there a craft distiller not on this list that you feel deserves a pat on the back? Mention them in the comments below, I’m glad to add them to the list!
Always great when people want to share their own experiences. As people reach out to us about other distilleries to know about we’ll add them here.
Ready to release your inner wolf? Head down to the first premium craft distillery in Windsor-Essex county. Inspired by local history of rumrunning during Prohibition, the owner of Wolfhead Distillery was inspired to bring a range of whiskies and vodkas to the market.