Whisky Police

Back in May, in a post titled, “How Canadian is Your Canadian Whisky?” I introduced you not only to Barry and Barry of Still Waters Distillery, but also to some of our province’s and our country’s liquor laws.

In particular, you may recall that Barry and Barry started distilling their award-winning vodka only as a means to raise a little capital while they waited for their whiskies to age, owing to the fact that Canadian laws dictate that whisky in this country needs to be aged at least three years.

Well shortly after writing that article, Continue reading “Whisky Police”

How Canadian is Your Canadian Whisky?

It turns out that the bottle of “Canadian Whisky” you’ve got on the shelf of your bar isn’t really all that Canadian after all.

This weekend I visited Still Waters Distillery in Concord, Ontario, in order to do a little profile of their business for blogTO. In addition to learning a thing or two about how vodka and whisky are made (not to mention trying a few samples), I also learned a little bit about the whisky business here in Canada.

Perhaps not so surprisingly, it’s a bit of a tough go.

Still Waters, it turns out, is virtually the only micro-distillery operating in Ontario; and really, there are only a handful of micro or craft distillers in the whole country. Much like the handful of Ontario craft brewers I’ve come to know in my time writing about beer, Barry Bernstein and Barry Stein, the co-founders of Still Waters, face an uphill battle when it comes to trying to get their products out to the people who drink them. Indeed, given that the craft beer community is so collaborative and supportive, Still Waters arguably faces an even tougher battle given that they’re essentially the only little guys out there right now, so they’re trying to do it on their own. Continue reading “How Canadian is Your Canadian Whisky?”