Windsor makes good booze.
Scratch that, Windsor makes excellent booze.
For over a century, the region of Windsor and Essex has been producing alcohol that is shipped across the entire world. While recently the Canadian Club brand has been featured in the hit HBO show Boardwalk Empire, many would be surprised to find out what other brands are made in the area.
Whether it be fine grain alcohol or locally produced beer, Windsor has a long history of producing alcohol and as such, ourWindsor.ca found it pertinent to share this information with our readership.
Canadian Club: Founded by Hiram Walker, the Canadian Club brand has been exported worldwide. Walker, who developed the community of Walkerville to house his employees, found that his whiskey became very popular among American consumers. During US prohibition, Walker illegally bootlegged his product across the border, and experienced great success and brand growth. Chicago gangster Al Capone smuggled thousands of cases of Canadian Club across the Detroit river to fund his mob empire, while Canadian Club was the only North American distillery to receive royal warrants of Queen Victoria, King Edward VII, King George V, King George VI and Queen Elizabeth II.
Walkerville Brewery: Having gone through numerous incarnations, the Walkerville Brewing Company operated from 1885 to 1956. A second owner began the business in 1998, however they declared bankruptcy in 2007. In 2012, the third incarnation of Walkerville Brewery was launched, and it is currently situated in the modern ‘distillery district’, housed alongside Hiram Walker and Pernod Richard. Walkerville produces a premium lager along with an ale regularly, and produces unique special batches seasonally.
EPIC Wineries: While EPIC Wineries represents the wineries of Windsor Essex and Pelee, there are far too many individual wineries to list them all. As Windsor is located at the same latitude as parts of California and France, Spain and Italy, the region is aptly situated to grow grapes perfect for wine production. For numerous years Windsor Essex and Pelee have been known worldwide for its production of fine wines.
Crown Royal: Owned by Diageo following the dissolution of the Seagram brand, Crown Royal is the top-selling Canadian whisky available for sale in the United States. While it is produced at Gimli on the shores of Lake Winnipeg in Manitoba, Crown Royal is stored and blended in 2-million barrels in nearby Amherstburg Ontario on over 5 acres of land. In 2006, sales of Crown Royal amounted to over US $500-million.
Pernod Richard: Locally Pernod Richard produces under its subsidiary Corby Distilleries quite a few brands that are known worldwide. While Malibu might be the ‘taste of the Caribbean’ it is produced locally in what they still refer to as Walkerville Ontario. Also produced in Windsor are Wiser’s whiskey, Polar Ice Vodka, and Lamb’s rum.
Jonathon Liedtke is the Features & Opinion Editor for the University of Windsor Lance Campus/Community Newspaper and a reporter for ourWindsor.ca. As a founding member and current Co-Chair of the Mayor’s Youth Advisory Committee, he is committed to representing, connecting, engaging with and advocating for local youth. He is also a member of Windsor’s “Punk with Horns” band The Nefidovs, and as such, is committed to enhancing and sustaining the arts community.