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?”