Thursday, April 8, 2021

Dairy Distillery cited for growth

Dairy Distillery of Almonte has been identified as one of the fastest-growing businesses in the Ottawa Region.

It makes vodka and hand sanitizers from skim milk.

When Omid McDonald learned that a dairy farmer was dumping skim milk, he saw an opportunity and worked with his cousin, Neal McCarten, to launch the business that began making cream liquors and other booze in 2018.

McDonald previously launched three tech startups and had seen a micro-distillery operating in Charleston, South Carolina.

McDonald worked with a biology-department professor at the University of Ottawa to perfect the process of converting milk sugar into spirits. Meanwhile, he cold-called various dairy farms around Ottawa to find a supplier of milk permeate.

When the COVID-19 pandemic began, the company got $455,000 from the Ontario government to create hand sanitizer for Ottawa hospitals.

Dairy Distillery is currently working on expanding into Quebec and British Columbia. 

It is building a 6,000-square-foot plant with capacity to triple production and staff.