Meet one of Ontario's Coolest Distilleries: Top Shelf Distillers

Top Shelf Distillers certainly don’t take themselves too seriously, or play by the rules. We love their connection to their roots, their commitment to sourcing local and pushing the envelope when it comes to innovation in craft spirits.

Hailing from small town Perth, Ontario, one of the first distilling towns in Canada, Top Shelf celebrates the legacy of the distilling trailblazers that came before them.

Photo credit: Jo Dickins

Photo credit: Jo Dickins

Top Shelf's commitment to using local ingredients to create high-quality product is how they became a Feast On Preferred Purveyor. Many of their spirits are grain to glass – using locally sourced rye, corn and malted barley for their whisky, moonshine and vodka. We can’t forget the delicious Ontario blueberries, cherries and maple syrup used to flavour their award-winning moonshine! 

Most recently, Top Shelf began the dynamic transition to organic grain in their spirits. By doing so, Top Shelf aims to work with farmers to increase the acreage dedicated to growing organic corn in Eastern Ontario to meet their demand but to also not interfere with other consumers of organic product.

Photo credit: Jo Dickins

Photo credit: Jo Dickins

The benefits of organic? Why, we thought you’d never ask. By using organic product, Top Shelf will be offering a higher quality product and doing their part to protect their local environment of Perth and Eastern Ontario. It’s only a matter a time before corn farmers begin to switch their crop to organic (which can be a lengthy process) and by taking a leadership role with these farmers, Top Shelf can prevent local farmers from being left behind the curve. Now, THAT is the power of local economics.

The Top Shelf team hopes to be fully certified organic in two to three years with their demand for organic corn to double and quadruple!

In addition to their delightful liquor, their creative team has come up with a full range of bitters to create that perfect cocktail! We got a chance to see a couple of them in action at Terroir 2018:

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Captain Otty
•1 ½ oz Top Shelf Gin
•1 oz Lemon Juice
• ½ oz Blueberry Moonshine Syrup
•3-5 dashes Top Shelf Lavender Bitters
•2 oz Soda

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Scene On The Tay
•1 ½ oz Top Shelf Gin
•½ oz Elderflower Syrup
•1 oz Lemon
•3 Cucumber Slices
•3-5 Dashes Top Shelf Lemongrass Bitters
•2 oz Soda


If you’re like us and enjoy affordable, Ontario-sourced, handcrafted spirits, keep an eye out for Top Shelf Gin and Vodka in LCBO stores. It’s the bottle with the wacky, upside-down logo…

And if you’re in the area, check out the distillery in Perth, Ontario, just outside of Ottawa for a tour and a tasting!