You know you can always count on us when in need of some new craft sippers for your bar rail. Micro-distilleries are popping up all over Ontario, and most offer tours, tastings, with some also offering classes and events.
In Ontario, we make really great whisky and really, REALLY great gin. They’re the spirits you’ll find at most craft distillers, but don’t miss out on the moonshine, vodka and specialty liqueurs! They’re quickly carving out their own spot in the food and drink landscape.
Here’s a few distilleries we suggest visiting for all your cocktail shakers, sippers and slingers.
Kinsip House of Fine Spirits
You’ll find Kinsip in the heart of Prince Edward County and it is a must-see. Visit the distillery for a tasting or for one of their famous cocktails. While you’re there, we recommend also getting a bottle of Kinsip Whisky Barrel Aged Maple Syrup! Bake with it, pour it over ice cream, or just drink it straight from the bottle – it’s that good.
Dillon’s produces small batch spirits made from natural ingredients that are infused and finished with fine botanicals and wood. We recommend Dillon’s Rye Whisky, crafted with 100% Ontario grown rye and distilled in the Niagara Region. They also offer a sophisticated line of bitters, made from ingredients found in their garden!
Still Water Distillery
Still Water opened in 2009 and was the first micro-distillery in Ontario, and this year they were awarded Artisanal Craft Distillery of the Year! We recommend trying their Single Malt Whisky, described as an easy-sipping Canadian single malt, packed with layers of apple, citrus and vanilla. YUM.
Junction 56 Distillery
Located in Stratford, Junction 56 has an array of really unique products for you to sample, including moonshine liqueurs. The distillery also has a partnership with local purveyor of fine teas, Stratford Tea Leaves, and steeping their cinnamon herbal tea in Junction 56’s signature Moonshine makes the distillery’s Fireshine Liqueur.
North of 7 Distillery
North of 7, so named for it’s location north of Highway 7, is Ottawa’s first micro distillery and is run by long time pals Greg Lipin and Jody Miall. Pick up a bottle of their Triple Beam Gin made with juniper berries sourced from Wakefield, Quebec.
Dixon’s Distilled Spirits
Located in Guelph, Dixon’s has been known to host a party or two! Definitely drop by for a tour of the distillery and a tasting! While you’re there grab a pack of Ginfusion, their first Gin cooler! It’s mixed with ginger, cucumber, lime and mint and is the perfect balance of light and tangy.
Polonae‘s mission is to provide Canada with a great vodka, and in an effort to do just that their spirits are created with state of the art distillation equipment. They named their vodka Kannak, an ode to all the vodka loving cannucks! The distillery can be found in the Niagara Region, which is always a great place to getaway to!
You can find Murphy’s Law in a small town called Elmira, and this distillery only produces Moonshine – but don’t let that scare you! With flavours like Cherry Bomb and Apple pie, bottled in mason jars, you won’t be sorry you stopped by!
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Top Shelf Distillers
Last, but absolutely not least, Top Shelf Distillers must be included in your distillery hop. Located in Lanark County, their slogan is: We’ve bottled a legacy, and we won’t disagree! In fact we are having a hard time recommending which spirit to try while you’re there because their products are all top-notch. So maybe you should just try all of them!
Toronto Distillery Co.
The Toronto Distillery was a certified organic, glass-to-grain distillery operating in North Toronto. Their Organic Beet Spirit, distilled like whisky, but is made from fermented sugar beets. Their retail shop is currently closed – but you can purchase their products online!
DID YOU KNOW: There’s now an Ontario Craft Distillers Association? Here’s who’s joined:
Dillon’s Small Batch Distillers, Dixon’s Distilled Spirits, Junction 56 Distillery, King’s Lock Craft Distillery, Last Straw Distillery, Murphy’s Law Distillery, North of 7 Distillery, Polonae Distillery, Rheault Distillery, Seventh Concession Distillers, Still Waters Distillery, Kinsip House of Fine Spirits, Top Shelf Distillers, Toronto Distillery Co., Wolfhead Distillery, and Yongehurst Distillery.