All posts by Club West

A purist’s dream


(To view our March/April 2018 issue of ClubWEST online, click here.)

Dillon’s Small Batch Distillers introduces liquid truth with 100 per cent pure rye grain whisky

By Joanne McDonald

It’s circa 1895 and there’s a stirring of poetic alchemy, or maybe, it’s just a trick of the eye.

Prolific writer and visionary H.G. Wells is in the building.

And he’s reading comfortably from one of his science adventure novels against the backdrop of botanicals and berries distilling in copper pot stills – machinery resembling so much works of art as the hard working purveyors of spirits that carry the label of Dillon’s Small Batch Distillers.

The spirit of Wells fades back as Geoff Dillon, proprietor and distiller, reaches up to adjust a gauge on the copper columns.

A young entrepreneur with a vintage soul, he takes pride in precisely creating craft spirits from the very best ingredients, the rich bounty of local Niagara fruits and the botanicals and absinthe gardens in his own back yard – one batch at a time.

Now heading into a sixth year of production, the confluence of old school values with one-of-a-kind modern equipment and clever techniques has this small batch distillery in Beamsville carving out a big reputation on the local and international stage.

It’s been a thrill for Geoff to see his spirits on the shelf at the LCBO. “Seeing that for the first time boggles your brain a bit.”

He credits his father, Dr. Peter Dillon, a renowned scientist and retired university professor who taught biogeochemistry, as the “mad scientist” behind the wide range of unique flavours and aromatics associated with Dillon’s spirits and the distillery’s thoughtful impact on the environment. “He’s such a huge part of this, the fun part where it’s all about experimentation,” says Geoff, of his dad who grows herbs, spices, fruits and vegetables on a ten-acre hobby farm.

To read the full article, click here for the March/April 2018 ClubWest online magazine.

From the Publisher March/April 2018


(To view our March/April 2018 issue of ClubWEST online, click here.)

“Either write something worth reading or do something worth writing.”
– Benjamin Franklin

If you’re looking for a grind ’em up, spit ’em out attitude of winning at any cost in minor lacrosse, Grimsby native Jamie Taylor is decidedly not your man.

If you want your youngster to gain some experience, learn about the game and themselves along the way and be the best they can be on both fronts, then you will be glad you read the feature on the former National Lacrosse League journeyman. Taylor will be a new coach in the Lincoln Crush minor lacrosse system and he brings a wealth of experience to the table.

As a former number one draft pick and someone who made many stops along the trail of his pro career, he will have a lot of insight to offer his players and their parents.

Surprises come along. Taylor’s career was not planned. It was almost a fluke, really, as he started out as a hockey player but found his skills flatlined. When he started cross-training with lacrosse, he immediately took flight and didn’t look back.

The ability to read the tea leaves and adapt are key in the world of sports, just as it is in business.

This month’s cover story on the ongoing development of Dillon’s Small Batch Distillery is proof positive of that.

Geoff Dillon and family members sensed an opportunity, did their homework and launched their new business, which was quite likely the easy part but getting it up and moving forward is the more difficult, ongoing battle.

Dillon and his team has listened repeatedly to what the market has told them and continued to adapt their offering to interest varied consumer interests and tastes. Being a good lis- tener can serve you in good stead no matter what line of work one is in and Dillon’s has picked up on that, clearly.

Starting out just over six years ago in what was, essentially, a little used drive shed on Tufford Road at the South Service Road in Beamsville, massive renovation and fine tuning has culminated in a unique consumer experience for anyone who has stopped by.

As owner of a small, independent publishing company, I know all too well the perils and benefits of going the entrepre- neurial route. A winning concoction is one part energy, one part smarts, one part creativity and one part crazy. Put all in a blender, mix well with anything from Dillon’s and you’ll be well on your way. Just kidding.

The first three parts are true, though. Great respect to Team Dillon’s and continued success and, as well, for Taylor with his lacrosse charges.

Publisher, ClubWest Magazine
Mike Williscraft

Ooohhh yaaa!!!! Antigua anyone?


(To view our January/February 2018 issue of ClubWEST online, click here.)

By Lorraine Simpson

If snow shovelling is getting you down and the amount of time you’ve already spent looking for lost gloves has you fearing winter in Ontario, it may be time to plan a warm and sunny getaway.

Antigua is an island in the Caribbean which offers the perfect antidotes to the Ontario winter woes.

As a travel consultant, one of the perks is getting to visit some pretty spectacular places to experience them first hand so I can relate my experiences to clients.

When I visited Antigua it was love at first sight!

I was blown away by the translucent waters of turquoise and azure that look photoshopped, miles of soft white sand, and all the rum punches, daiquiris, and pina coladas you can drink.

Visitors get all this and more on Antigua, 108 square miles worth of tropical beauty located just over a four-and-a-half-hour flight from Toronto. There are 9 direct flights per week currently. They start as low as $420pp, so it is certainly accessible for most.

The Caribbean was slammed with several hurricanes in 2017 and Antigua narrowly avoided the worst. It has been left it in perfect shape to welcome visitors searching for Caribbean sunshine and vitamin SEA!.

This is not the kind of island where you have to fight for towel space with blitzed college students. For one thing, there are 365 beaches here, which means there are plenty of places to chill for everyone.

This beautiful isle specializes in laid-back luxury and honeymoon-worthy resorts, attracting travellers who like their tropical vacations to have a refined vibe.

To read the full article, click here for the January/February ClubWest online magazine.