Our Story

What Is North of 7?

What Is North of 7?

North of 7 means different things to different folks. For most, perhaps, it represents the area north of HWY 7, the King's Highway, that long and winding road traversing southern Ontario. For others, it calls to mind a cherished stretch of land where the landscape begins to morph from the more densely populated southern portion of the province into an environment of untamed forests, lush lakes, hills and rugged terrain. For distillery founder Greg Lipin, it's a bit of both. Greg's entire existence has been punctuated by time spent on Highway 7, heading to and from his family cottage in the region's heartland. More than 50 years ago, his grandfather bought a plot of lakefront and built a rustic get-away, enjoyed ever since by family and friends. When it came time to name his distillery, Greg wanted to call it something that held special meaning in his life. He didn't have to think too long or too hard. It doesn't get much more special than having a place to get away, hang with family and friends, relax, dream and plan the days away.

A stretch of Ontario Highway 7, circa the 1950s

Origins

Greg and Jodi in the distillery store

From left, Jody Miall and Greg Lipin

Origins

What led two Ontario boys, Greg Lipin and Jody Miall, to develop a love and appreciation of small-batch bourbon—and, eventually, open Ottawa's first micro-distillery in the post-Prohibition era? The answer is rock climbing. Greg and Jody are co-owners of Ottawa's Coyote Rock Gym, and since their late teens, these avid climbers have made numerous excursions to the hollers of Kentucky in search of challenging rock faces. It was there they discovered a shared appreciation for the "brown spirits." This led to the touring of distilleries in the region and the enjoyment of many different types of bourbon and other American whiskies. Having already turned one of their passions into a thriving business, they began wondering if they could do it again. Fortunately, their entrepreneurial aspirations coincided with the recent easing of laws banning or restricting small distilleries. And in 2013, with the creation of their first mash, North of 7 Distillery was born.

Our Approach

North of 7 Distillery storefront

Our Approach

From the beginning, our dream has been to operate an authentic grain-to-glass distillery, using only the best local ingredients and our own recipes. All our grain is sourced from Against the Grain Farms in nearby Winchester, Ontario. Our belief—supported now by more than seven years of practical experience—is that to produce spirits worthy of celebrating, one must embrace the distilling craft wholeheartedly and invest the time and effort to fully master it. In the tradition of artisan distillers, we perform each production step in-house, including grain roasting, mashing and fermentation, distilling, barrel aging, bottling and packaging. Our process is meticulous and honed through constant learning—and we endeavour, with every batch, to achieve an exceptional result.

Our Distillery

A rack of aging North of 7 Distillery Whisky Barrles

Our Distillery

The production area at North of 7 houses four stills, a grain-grinding station and a bottling line. An adjacent space serves as our excise warehouse for storing our bottled spirits. Relentlessly, since our first distilling run, we've been accumulating barrels of aging whisky and rum in our rickhouse-style storage area at the back of the distillery. All the brown spirits we sell are now aged at least 5.5 years. Our front shop is a combination tasting room and retail store. You're invited to drop by anytime during business hours to enjoy a complimentary sampler and pick up a bottle to share with family and friends! 

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