Our Story

At Dairy Distillery, innovation is at the heart of what we do. So is a deep desire to champion our community and the environment. We’ve married artisanal distilling techniques with cutting edge science to transform unused milk sugar into an incredibly smooth and clean spirit. In doing so we create new opportunity for dairy farmers while reducing waste. We craft great spirits that do good.

All spirits are made by fermenting sugar. At Dairy Distillery, we use a sugar rarely used to make spirits: milk sugar. Milk sugar, or lactose, is a natural, healthy sugar. It was first fermented to make alcohol by the Mongols over a thousand years ago. While milk sugar produces a cleaner, smoother, gluten-free spirit, it never became popular with distillers due to its high cost and production challenges.

Milk from 3,500 Ontario dairy farms is sent to large processors where the cream is removed to make butter and the proteins concentrated to make ultrafiltered milk used by cheese and yogurt makers. When making ultrafiltered milk, a sugar rich liquid called milk permeate is produced. Most milk permeate is dumped straining dairy farmers with its disposal cost.

In this waste, we saw an opportunity. To make world-class spirits with the potential to support hard working local farmers and the environment. In collaboration with the University of Ottawa we’ve perfected a process to convert milk permeate into an unbelievably smooth spirit. Thanks to this process, anything we don’t bottle can be safely put back into the environment.