Niagara has long been known for its winemaking culture going back decades, and for some time now the region has also enjoyed gains in its craft beer industry. But one field that never gets talked about as much in regards to Niagara is spirits. Thankfully, the past five years have seen an increase in local spirit interest, and a few new distilleries are helping to change the previous oversight.
The Ontario Craft Distiller’s Association now logs two dozen distilleries and some of these are popping up in spitting distance of Niagara Falls. So if you’re looking for a good small batch whisky, where can you go? The companies listed below are a good start.
Dillon’s – Small Batch Distillers
Run by a small-knit batch of spirits enthusiasts, this Beamsville-based distillery has a few years under its belt and had already started collecting a variety of awards, especially for its Vodka Method 95 at the International Spirits Competition in New York and the Work Spirits Competition in San Francisco. Dillon’s also has a wide range of boutique gins and some unique whiskies.
The Wayne Gretzky Estate is new to the region, only opening in spring 2017, but the name is already known in British Columbia and California, and these days also has the backing of the prestigious Peller Estates. The Niagara-on-the-Lake installation is state-of-the-art and geared for both high-quality wines and spirits.
Niagara Falls Craft Distillers
Another new player in the growing distillers market, Craft Distillers is on Lundy’s Lane in Niagara-on-the-Lake and embraces a hybrid of traditional and modern methods, particularly proud of its massive copper kettle with 21 plates still. Craft Distillers will produce small batch gin, vodka and whisky for local bars and walk-in visitors.
If you’re a spirit drinker, whether you prefer gins or vodkas or malt whiskies, Canada (and Ontario in particular) is a fast developing source of quality options. If you’re in the Niagara region and near one of these distilleries, reap the benefits of all the rage. Take a tour at one of the Niagara Craft Distilleries