Get Into the Spirit at Ontario’s Top Distilleries
Ontario is home to a community of dedicated distillers, each with its own distinct flavour and character. Find out for yourself – distillery tastings are a great way to learn all about this noble art form and discover your new favourite beverage.
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Pack a picnic and head to Dillon’s distillery garden for a fresh tasting experience. Dillon’s Small Batch Distilleries produce a range of spirits and bitters all made from local ingredients. Best known for its Unfiltered Gin 22, Dillon’s also produces vodka, absinthe and schnapps. The distillery is approximately half an hour drive west of Hamilton on the edge of Lake Ontario.
Location: 4833 Tufford Road, Beamsville
Junction 56 Distillery is as local as it gets. All of their spirits start with 100% Ontario grown grains brought together with ingredients from local businesses to create their handcrafted flavoured liqueurs. One of the most popular is the Fireshine liqueur – a combination of a local cinnamon herbal tea steeped in the distillery's signature moonshine.
Location: 45 Cambria Street, Stratford
Discover Northern Ontario’s smooth, clean vodka served with warm hospitality. Rheault Distillery produces the only Alpha vodka in Canada, containing 0% methanol with a sweet scent and a silky finish. While you’re there, relax with the owners, Marcel and Mireille, for their tips on running home-based distilleries.
Location: 6 Highway 583 Nord RR 2 #19, Hearst
Last Straw Distillery is small and intimate, but the product selection is mighty, from Gin Twenty One, a smooth tasting blend with subtle notes of citrus to award-winning whisky and rum. Everything is hands-on in the distillery, including the Distilling Workshops. Be part of the distilling process, with the option of pre-ordering their ‘product’ when it’s ready to go. Just be sure to book the workshop in advance.
Location: 40 Pippin Road #9, Concord
The team at Still Waters Distillery have earned all sorts of accolades, including recognition by the coveted “Wizards of Whiskies” awards, but you’d never know it from their relaxed and friendly service. There are four types of whisky under the flagship Stalk and Barrel brand, including their single Malt Whisky packed with layers of apple, citrus and vanilla.
The first mico-distillery in Ontario, Still Waters has been open since 2009, and although they don’t offer formal guided tours, staff are happy to show guests around the distillery and chat about the production during regular business hours.
Location: 150 Bradwick Dr Unit #26, Concord
Spirit of York blends history and tradition with contemporary innovation. The name hearkens back to a time when Toronto was called ‘York’ and the city was renowned for its great distilleries. Located in the heart of Toronto’s Distillery District, Spirit of York has revived the old malting room from the Gooderham and Worts Distillery and given it a contemporary twist. Today, you can watch the distilling process through the floor-to-ceiling glass wall on one of their tasting and tour offerings.
Location: 12 Trinity Street, Toronto
Located in the heart of bucolic Prince Edward County, Kinsip is a farm distillery passionate about their grain-to-glass philosophy so every product ferments, distills and ages on site. Visit for a three spirit tasting along with a sample cocktail on the patio, surrounded by pastoral scenery and resident free range chickens. Pick up a bottle of Juniper’s Wit Old Tom Gin or Kinsip Whisky Barrel Aged Maple Syrup.
Location: 66 Gilead Road, Bloomfield
Located in Lanark County, Top Shelf Distillers have built a legacy on their spirits and liqueurs. The selection of moonshine is made from locally sourced ingredients and features a wide range of unique flavours to suit any special occasion – some of which feel particularly Canadian. If you can’t decide, pick up the County Maple Tree Pack, including Reunion Maple Moonshine and Reunion French Toast Moonshine, a bottle of Upper Narrows Retreat Maple Syrup and a packet of Giffin’s Maple Syrup Candies.
Location: 14 Warren Crescent, Perth
The fresh taste and flavourful combinations of Dixon’s gin, vodka, moonshine and rye are sure to liven up any atmosphere. Sample Ginfusion, the distillery’s signature gin cooler mixed with ginger, cucumber, lime and mint. Dixon’s offers hour-long tasting events as well as hosting as a venue for your special occasions.
Location: 355 Elmira Road North Unit 106, Guelph