Canada’s distilling industry was pioneered in the 1850s by J.P. Wiser, Henry Corby and Hiram Walker. Towns sprang up around their distilleries, including Walkerville, Ontario, which is now part of Windsor and still home to the Hiram Walker manufacturing facility. Today, it also serves as a North American centre for innovation and new product development, information technology, procurement and purchasing.
Hiram Walker & Sons is the largest “grain to glass” operation in Ontario and boasts the largest distillery capacity in North America with 37 fermenters. The manufacturing process distills 180,000 litres of alcohol every 24 hours and operates 24 hours a day, twenty-five days a month to produce a variety of products including vodka, rum, and Canadian whisky. Fourteen maturing warehouses currently store 1.6 million barrels of spirits, which are blended and eventually bottled on four high-speed lines using one of the 50 available bottle molds.
The Hiram Walker facility also holds an extensive list of certifications supporting its commitments to quality, safety and environmental compliance. This includes certifications to ISO 9001, ISO 14001, ISO 22000 and the OHSAS 18001 standards.
A number of strategic initiatives have helped Hiram Walker to build a solid reputation as a technologically and environmentally advanced facility. The facility’s operations have transitioned to clean natural gas energy, drastically reducing sulphur emissions, as well as reducing overall energy consumption by 40%. The amount of waste diverted to landfill has been reduced by 60% and waste water contaminants have been reduced by 90% through the use of an onsite biological treatment facility.
Hiram Walker & Sons Limited is a wholly-owned Canadian subsidiary of international spirits and wine company Pernod Ricard S.A., which is headquartered in Paris, France. Hiram Walker & Sons Limited is Corby’s majority shareholder. Both Hiram Walker & Sons Limited and Corby benefit from shared services and support including executive management, information technology, human resources and research and development.
The vast majority of Corby’s owned and represented brands are bottled and blended by Hiram Walker & Sons, making up part of the four million cases of spirits that the facility handles every year. As a result, the two companies are closely aligned. Hiram Walker’s long-standing commitment to quality and innovation has helped to make Corby a market leader in the Canadian spirits and wine industry.