Made in Ontario Success Story, Black Fly Beverage Company Breaks into US Market








Made in Ontario Success Story, Black Fly Beverage Company Breaks into US Market

Local company awarded first distillery licence in Ontario in 100 years expands again.


August 29, 2016


London, Ontario – Black Fly Beverage Company, a local London company and member of Food and Beverage Ontario, has successfully moved into the US market. With over a dozen premium spirit mixed drinks produced in the company’s London facility and sold across Canada, Black Fly has made remarkable progress since start-up in 2005.

This past spring, Black Fly underwent a major plant expansion increasing its production capacity 4-fold, and expanding into Arkansas, Alabama, Illinois and Massachusetts. The market expansion was kick started thanks to the Wine and Spirit Association of America’s (WSWA) awarding Black Fly its Hot New Now Media Award in Orlando Florida (2015) for the company’s Black Fly Vodka Grapefruit mixed drink and a host of additional awards in Las Vegas at the WSWA 2016 convention.

“This has been an incredible ride. With just over ten years in the market as an independent, family-run operation, Black Fly has made enormous progress producing craft, high quality, ready-to-drink, less sweet spirit beverages carving out significant market share in an industry dominated by global companies. Our customers tell us they love Black Fly mixed drinks because they are not too sweet, are craft produced and are Canadian. It is a privilege to be building an innovative and successful business in Ontario with our talented and passionate team of 43 employees. We are committed to continuing growth across Canada and internationally while always focusing on reducing our environmental footprint,” said Cathy Siskind- Kelly, Black Fly Co-founder.

Black Fly plastic bottles made right at the London facility are larger at 400mL and have a unique, lightweight BPA-free Canadian design. These PET1 bottles are considered the most recyclable plastic in the industry. Black Fly also implemented a program in 2012 to exclusively use biodegradable shrink-wrap around all finished pallets. Black Fly’s unique four-pack carrier design has reduced the company’s use of corrugated packaging by 30 percent and with the introduction of bulk alcohol tanks and bulk raw material purchases landfill waste has been reduced by 10 tons per year.

“Black Fly Beverage Company is a perfect example of a successful, local manufacturer and a Food and Beverage Ontario member,” said Norm Beal. “This company has determinedly built relations across Canada and now into the U.S. selling a high quality, sustainably produced craft product. This is exactly why the Ontario food and beverage processing industry is the province’s number one employer and a leading manufacturing sector.”


(Black Fly Beverage co-founders and husband and wife team, Rob Kelly and Cathy Siskind-Kelly)


Black Fly Beverage Company, Ontario's first micro-distillery, was founded in 2005 by husband & wife Rob Kelly and Cathy Siskind-Kelly after being awarded the first Distillery License granted in Ontario in over 100 years. Black Fly produces a more natural and less sweet premium spirit, ready-to-drink beverage using quality ingredients and innovative packaging. Recently, Black Fly has moved into straight spirits with release of Bob’s Super Smooth Vodka. A true innovation this vodka is made from whey resulting in an incredibly smooth texture and taste at a highly competitive price. Bob’s Super Smooth is now available with Black Fly’s new line of Black Fly Sours in 473 mL cans. For more information, go to

Food and Beverage Ontario is a not-for-profit, leadership organization advancing the interests of its Ontario food and beverage processor members. FBO’s focus is on the success, prosperity and growth of the food and beverage processing industry. For more information, go to


For more information:

Cathy Siskind-Kelly                                                    


Black Fly Beverage Company                                       



Isabel Dopta

Director of Communications

Food and Beverage Ontario 


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