Dairy Distillery, the Almonte, Ont.-based processor turning waste milk sugar into vodka, recently received an Excellence in Agriculture award from the province.
Made from milk permeate, a byproduct of milk processing, Dairy Distillery’s Vodkow product was launched in 2018. Most milk permeate is currently disposed of, at a cost to dairy farmers.
“Ontario’s agri-food sector is innovative and drives economic growth in our province,” says Ernie Hardeman, Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs. “Agri-food innovators like Dairy Distillery push boundaries for expanding economic development. Their innovation takes unused milk sugar and transforms it into a smooth and clean spirit, creating a great opportunity for dairy farmers to reduce waste product.”
The Excellence in Agriculture Awards recognize agri-food businesses, individuals and organizations that have raised the bar for agri-food excellence, demonstrated leadership in their field, undertaken strategic product development benefiting their sector, or advanced technological innovation, according to the province.
Recently, the Canadian definition of vodka was changed to include spirit made from more than just fruits or vegetables, allowing Vodkow to officially be called vodka. The product was first available only at the distillery in Almonte and through select pubs, but recently expanded to some LCBO locations in the Ottawa area.