They opened only two years ago, but Spirit in Niagara has already taken home numerous awards – the latest being international honours.
At the 2023 San Francisco International Spirits Competition and the prestigious 2023 SIP Awards held in Irvine, California, gold medals were awarded to the distillery’s juiced-up gin and the juiced-up vodka in their respective categories.
In the whisky category, their Canadian whisky received gold at the SIP Awards and bronze at the San Francisco Spirit Competition and the Canadian Whisky Awards.
The Bartender Spirit Awards also announced silver across the board for the distillery’s juiced-up vodka, juiced-up gin, juicy peach eau de vie, sweet pear eau de vie, mixed mash Whisky, Canadian whisky, and sweet vermouth.
The SIP Awards is held every year judging spirits from around the world – and unique in that it’s a panel of average consumers that judge and rank the competition.
“I think it’s the quality of the products that we start with,” said the distillery’s founder Arnie Lepp.
“A lot of (the spirits) feature soft, overripe fruit with exceptional flavours. The Canadian grains and the corn that we use. And on top of that, we’ve got the best master distiller in the industry.”
Joshua Beach, Spirit in Niagara’s master distiller, has a background in whisky distilling, beginning in Vancouver with his own distillery and working as the original distiller at Wayne Gretzky Estates.
He now works solo at this distillery.
“It’s just me back there, toiling away,” he joked.
With fruit sourced from Arnie Lepp’s sorting facility, preventing overripe products from going to waste, these spirits are not only tasty but environmentally conscious too, Beach said.
“We don’t waste, but also with the quality of the spirits, when you start with a good quality raw ingredient, it really creates a delicious product,” he said.