New Ontario Moonshine Festival celebrates the province’s moonshine heritage

If you love some good old fashioned ‘shine, head to Top Shelf Distillers to celebrate one of Ontario’s favourite Temperance-era beverages, locally crafted moonshine.  On Saturday, May 25, 2019, Top Shelf Distillers is hosting the first ever Ontario Moonshine Festival to celebrate moonshine produced in Ontario, and unite the distilleries who are keeping the love for this beverage alive.

From the Temperance Era to today, moonshine has prevailed and persevered despite all obstacles, and one Ontario distillery is helping to put this often-overlooked alcoholic beverage back on the map. This event comes just in time; as the craft spirit movement has gained full swing in Ontario, it’s time to revive this quintessentially local spirit.

Typically made with Ontario grain and then flavoured with local or regional ingredients, moonshine was the name given to spirits produced during the Temperance movement, when it was against the law to either consume or produce alcoholic beverages. Today, we’re long past the days when moonshine was smuggled from wagon to wagon and house to house, but this spirit remains one of the best representations of unadulterated local alcohol production.

Beginning at 12 p.m. and ending at 8 p.m., the Ontario Moonshine Festival will be the place to be for existing and aspiring moonshine lovers. This simple spirit will be highlighted by five Ontario moonshine distillers: Last Straw Distillery, Murphy’s Law Distillery Ltd., King’s Lock Craft Distillery, Dixon’s Distilled Spirits, and Top Shelf Distillers’ popular Reunion Moonshine.

The outdoor event will also feature live music, blacksmithing demonstrations, axe-throwing (for those aged 16 or older), a barrel-making demonstration by one of only two licensed coopers in Canada, delicious edibles, cocktails, and more! Local artists will be on-site painting large wooden cut-outs of Top Shelf’s bottles, while chainsaw artists will also be creating their own works of art.

It’s all about keeping it local and real at Top Shelf, where their team is resurrecting not only the moonshine tradition, but Perth’s whisky heritage as well, a tradition that spans back to the 1800s when Perth was home to half a dozen distilleries, including the renowned whisky distillers, Stewart & Spalding and McLaren Distillers.

Top Shelf’s Maple Moonshine is made with locally sourced maple syrup, while their Reunion Moonshine is made from a secret family recipe. Sample and savour the flavours of Perth and area at Top Shelf!

Bring a lawn chair, your throwing arm and your appetite for new experiences and flavours to the #OntarioMoonshineFestival.

This event is open to all ages, however anyone wishing to purchase or sample alcohol must be over the age of 19. Identification will be required. Admission is free.