Tag Archives: Niagara

A purist’s dream

ClubWest

(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

ClubWest

(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

From the Publisher November/December 2017

ClubWest

(To view our November/December 2017 issue of ClubWEST online, click here.)

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

This edition of ClubWest Magazine is very interesting.

That is not a brag. The intent is not to trumpet how awesome we are, the features are or any such thing.

What I want you, good reader, to do is note that none of the other features in this publication would matter one iota if not for the result of the lead feature on Vimy Ridge.

What a different world this would be.

Our economy would not be the same, so who knows what kind of freedoms we would have with agriculture and food.

The cruise highlighted in the this month’s travel feature down the Danube certainly would be different had Canada not stepped up to the plate and turned back the enemy at Vimy.

As for the Sears Wish Book, it is a good guess we might have been wishing the Allies were victorious at Vimy should they have lost that battle.

I will always believe the government did a disservice to all when Remembrance Day was taken away as a stat holiday. No, not because I miss the day off (in the media game no day is a day off, really) but because of the importance of our soldiers’ sacrifice. For that matter, the sacrifice of their family and friends as well. There really is no separation there.

With Vimy, it is very easy to get behind the flag, tell all how awesome Canada is and all that, but remembrance of battles won and lost, the human loss, in the name of freedom is a far larger force deserving of our attention.

Canada, as a nation, has been very lucky in recent years with very little to no military actions on the home front. This makes our soldiers sacrifices even more pronounced as they travel around the globe in the name of freedom and peace to help others.

Taking 30-45 minutes of your time, at some point, and dropping by Grimsby Museum at some point to view the Vimy exhibit – which is on until Friday, Nov. 17 – is well worth your time and would be an excellent conversation with children.

When I was a kid, we got Remembrance Day off. Sure, we met up with friends, goofed around outside and did whatever kids of the day were doing (road hockey, building a fort some place) but if I was not in front of our huge console TV at 11 a.m. to see the Remembrance Day service on CBC broadcast from Ottawa, I would have my own price to pay.

That was not a life decision, but it might have involved a limb or two and I was not going to risk it.

Seriously, check out this exhibit. You will be glad you did.

Publisher, ClubWest Magazine
Mike Williscraft