Wolfhead Distillery

Second Chance Animal Rescue asking community for support with unique event



By Jolene Perron

A local rescue is working with a local distillery to put a new spin on fundraising dinners.

“We have heard that the food at Wolfhead Distillery is like taking a traditional pasta dinner and elevating it to a much higher level,” explained Julie Bortolotti from Second Chance Animal Rescue. “We are having roasted rosemary chicken, penne in vegetarian sauce, salad tossed in Wolfhead Vodka Dressing and rolls with butter. By request, a Vegan/Vegetarian option will be available.”

Bortolotti explained they have two fundraising dinner events per year, which gives them an opportunity to celebrate all of their accomplishments and chance to get together with other supports to thank them for their contributions towards helping the animals.

“Animals hold a soft spot in my heart and that is the main reason why we agreed to do this fundraiser,” explained Sue Manherz, co-owner of Wolfhead Distillery. “We recently started fostering animals and ended up keeping our second foster dog. Second Chance Animal Rescue does a fantastic job helping and re-homing so many animals that I am happy to help them out. I wish there were more organizations like them.”

While they won’t be able to have any animals at the location, they will have a PowerPoint presentation with photos of adoptables and of animals that have been adopted out. Additionally, they will have our binder of animals available for viewing.

Second Chance Animal Rescue is holding a fundraiser dinner at Wolfhead Distillery on Howard. The proceeds will go towards helping meet the needs of animals like Tessa, until they find their fur-ever homes.

Second Chance Animal Rescue is holding a fundraiser dinner at Wolfhead Distillery on Howard. The proceeds will go towards helping meet the needs of animals like Tessa, until they find their fur-ever homes.

“The unfortunate situation is that there are already so many unwanted animals all over the world and a rescue can only save so many,” said Bortolotti. “That is why we encourage people to consider opening their hearts and their homes to the ones that find themselves without a loving place to lay their heads at night. We also promote spaying and neutering to help curb the overpopulation of unwanted animals who can – and many do – live life on the streets, scrounging and fighting to survive.”

The funds raised from this event will be directed towards veterinary care for the rescued animals. Bortolotti said every animal that makes their way to Second Chance Animal Rescue is provided with flea treatment, deworming, up-to-date vaccines, spay/neuter and microchip. The costs of veterinary care far exceed what they raise through adoption fees alone so it is imperative that they come up with creative, new and fun ways to raise the money to pay for these expenses. Periodically, Bortolotti explained, when they run into unexpected medical issues with animals, they also create GoFundMe Campaigns to quickly raise the funds for these unexpected needs.

“Many of the dogs that have come through our rescue have found themselves dumped in high kill shelters because they were no longer wanted by their families,” explained Bortolotti. “We also – when space permits – accept animals (both dogs and cats) that are surrendered by their owners and, periodically we are able to help tiny kittens that caring people pick up from the streets. In each instance, we carefully review the circumstances and ensure that every animal that becomes part of Second Chance Animal Rescue, is healthy before they are made available for adoption.”

The Dinner at the Distillery will be August 24th at 6 p.m. Tickets are $40 each, and are available by e-mailing scarescue.julie@outlook.com.

Second Chance Animal Rescue will also be holding a silent auction, and is planning a few other surprises for the evening.

“I’m looking forward to the event, although I am so busy running around that I never get an opportunity to enjoy the food,” said Bortolotti. “The venue is amazing and the staff at Wolfhead Distillery are very accommodating.”

Manherz explained this is only their second fundraiser, since they don’t have a special private room and have to shut down for the public. However, she said being able to help in any way is always a great feeling.

“I know its not one person that can do everything – it takes a team,” said Manherz. “And every little bit helps and if I can’t donate my time right now at least we can be here to help support by offering our services and establishment to fund raise for a wonder cause.”

Bob Probert Memorial Ride brings the roar of the road to Amherstburg



By Jolene Perron


The sound of motorcycles could be heard and felt in the streets of Amherstburg Sunday afternoon.

The annual Bob Probert Memorial Ride brought well over 1,400 motorcycle enthusiasts to town, all riding for the same cause – to raise money for Hotel-Dieu Grace Hospital’s angioplasty program in memory of Probert, who passed away of a massive heart-attack July 5, 2010.

The event raised over $120,000 this year.

Dani Probert stands in front of a sea of motorcycles in the parking lot of The Fort Family Fun Centre  Sunday.

Dani Probert stands in front of a sea of motorcycles in the parking lot of The Fort Family Fun Centre Sunday.

“It seemed like a no-brainer at the time,” explained Probert’s wife, Dani. “He loved riding, he loved old cars, he loved this entire lifestyle and it was a nice fit for us and it’s just grown every year since that and here we are at year seven and we’re closing in on the $700,000 mark raised for cardiac care right here in Windsor-Essex. I’m pretty proud of that.”

Dani said as she was pulling in to their stop at The Fort Family Fun Centre, she was told there were still bikes leaving Thunder Road Harley Davidson, where they begun their ride.

“It’s a rollercoaster of emotions, the planning that goes into it, the time that goes into it and coming up to this day is an emotional day,” said Dani. “As we celebrate Bob and it’s a reunion of sorts with all of our friends and family, and all of the participants, its also a sad reminder that he’s not here. It’s been seven years. But out of something so tragic that we’re able to pull something off like this and be positive, and to do something wonderful for our community that Bob loved so much, raising money for our home, he loved that.”

Probert was well known for being a Canadian professional ice hockey forward. He played in the NHL for the Detroit Red Wings and the Chicago Blackhawks.


A sea of motorcycles fills the parking lot at The Fort Family Fun Centre June 25.

A sea of motorcycles fills the parking lot at The Fort Family Fun Centre June 25.

He is also well known for being a great father to his kids Brogan, Tierney, Jack and Declyn, ages 23 through 17, who Dani believes will be on bikes in the ride in no time.

Rider Ward McNab has been participating in the ride for five years, and knew Probert as a teenager. He said he loves the ride, and appreciates that it’s for a great cause.

Buck Twenty took the stage to entertain riders as they enjoyed their first stop on their ride through Essex County Sunday.

Buck Twenty took the stage to entertain riders as they enjoyed their first stop on their ride through Essex County Sunday.

“I just remember him being a real fun-loving kid, and really dedicated to the sport of hockey,” said McNab. “I think this is a great event, the family just puts together an awesome event. I hope it keeps growing like it has been.”

Remembering Probert,, Dani said he was a young rider who began riding in his twenties. She said he got his first Harley in 1993, followed by another bike in 1994, and soon he had a garage full of bikes of all types and styles. She said he really enjoyed it, he had a passion for bikes.

“Bob was just a big kid,” said Dani. “He was an awesome father and I love to see my kids smiling today when we get to hear stories from fans and old teammates, they share stories that we’ve never heard before and as a mom that’s the most important part for me, for them to experience bits of their dad through old team mates and family.”

The 2017 Bob Probert Ride also made another stop in Amherstburg this year, as they also pulled into Wolfhead Distillery as part of the day’s events.

Wolfhead Distillery hits one-year anniversary with numerous awards



By RTT Staff


Wolfhead Distillery is approaching its one-year anniversary and has more than just a first birthday to celebrate.

The local craft distillery came home from a recent competition in San Francisco, California with several awards.

“We entered into our first ever Spirits competition and chose the San Francisco World spirits competition because it is internationally recognized,” explained Stephanie Saad, Wolfhead’s marketing and events co-ordinator. “We entered all six of our products into each of their corresponding categories.”


(Image special to the RTT)

According to Saad, the competition is done by blind tasting, so the judges do not know the company or country the product is from.

There were over 2,100 entrants this year, she added.

In all, products from Wolfhead distillery captured six medals, including two silver medals and four bronze medals.

Their grapefruit vodka won a silver medal, as did the local distillery’s coffee whisky liqueur.

The premium whisky won a bronze medal with the premium vodka also winning bronze. The other two bronze medals were for Wolfhead’s banana caramel vodka and the apple caramel whisky.

Wolfhead Distillery, located at 7781 Howard Ave., will be hosting a one-year open house celebration May 27 from 11 a.m.-8 p.m. There will be live music, door prizes and food and drink specials with a portion of the day’s proceeds going to benefit a family in need.

Town takes another step forward toward adding craft brewery



By Ron Giofu


The town of Amherstburg already has a craft distillery and could soon have a craft brewery.

Those two amenities could also be at the same site, now that the town has moved the process of a zoning change forward.

Craft beer may soon be coming to Amherstburg thanks to Lonsbery Farms Brewing Company, a business that is planning to partner with and operate out of Wolfhead Distillery on Howard Ave. Karl Lonsbery, a proponent of the craft brewery, said while they are seeking approval for the ability to create beer, wine and mead, the focus will be on beer.

“One step at a time,” he said.

Lonsbery already works with Ryan Bezaire in running the stills at Wolfhead and is working with the AGCO to get licensing for the craft brewery. He hopes it will be up and running by Christmas.

“It’s out of our hands at this point,” said Lonsbery.

Wolfhead Distillery co-owner Tom Manherz (right) conducts a tour of the facility Nov. 15. Wolfhead is looking to partner with Lonsbery Farms Brewing Co. to add a craft brewery at the Howard Ave. business.

Wolfhead Distillery co-owner Tom Manherz (right) conducts a tour of the facility Nov. 15. Wolfhead is looking to partner with Lonsbery Farms Brewing Co. to add a craft brewery at the Howard Ave. business.

The craft brewery could be a nice complement to what is already at Wolfhead, he believes, adding that there are cross-marketing ideas as well. He and Wolfhead owner Tom Manherz envision a “one-stop shop” for alcoholic beverages there at some point.

Lonsbery added he is only aware of one other facility in Ontario that offers craft beer and craft spirits at the same location.

“We want to make it a destination,” he said.

Councillor Rick Fryer said the town will help in any way it can while Councillor Diane Pouget said she had no objections.

“I wish you the best,” she said.

Mayor Aldo DiCarlo said the zoning passed for Wolfhead allowed for spirits but not a brewery so the amendment to the zoning will help expand what can happen at the Howard Ave. site. DiCarlo said craft breweries are starting to become more popular and Amherstburg stands to reap some benefits.

“There’s one other that I’ve heard from,” he said. “Obviously I can’t talk about it but craft breweries are something to explore.”

DiCarlo said the town has a lot of wineries and that a craft brewery will fit in well with the town. He added it is a clean industry that uses the sources of ingredients that are around them.

“It’s a great business in that it helps out other businesses around them,” said the mayor.

Wolfhead Distillery’s website captures award


Special to the RTT

The town’s new craft distillery is being noticed for its food and drink, but is now being recognized for its website as well.

Wolfhead Distillery, which opened its doors in late May, have enjoyed a “highly successful first month” with thousands of people sampling ultra-premium spirits at enjoying a meal on the patio.

Now, the distillery has announced success for their online presence as well.

Wolfhead Distillery has received a Silver 2016 Summit Creative Award for their website designed by Douglas Marketing Group (DMG), a Windsor-based agency with international reach.

With over 5,000 entries from 21 countries in this year’s competition, owner Tom Manherz was particularly happy with the result.

A screenshot of the homepage of Wolfhead Distillery's award-winning website, found at www.drinkwolfhead.com.

A screenshot of the homepage of Wolfhead Distillery’s award-winning website, found at www.drinkwolfhead.com.

“As the ideas came together to start the distillery, we realized our website would be critical for spreading the word and telling our story. I think the award recognizes our achievement of that,” he said.

Wolfhead Distillery boasts six uniquely flavoured spirits, a tasting room and a spirits-paired menu. DMG started the brand launch by presenting label designs for whisky and vodka bottles to a focus group of spirits enthusiasts and community members and then went to work with its integrated marketing and design approach. The Wolfhead brand was ultimately designed to embrace the history of the region, with a nod to the bustling tourism business. The website is being described as one that captures the personality of the Wolfhead brand, while sharing distinct messaging for media and the region.

According to Liz Farano, DMG’s vice president, it was a welcome challenge to strike a balance between sophistication and fun.

“Wolfhead’s whisky and vodka are very high-end, crafted products, but the positioning appeals to a broader audience. The brand and website embody these qualities – clean, fresh, accessible combined with striking graphics and design.”

According to Manherz, the next step is to use the website to grow the Distillery’s fan base, called the Wolfpack. He’s pleased to say the distillery has a busy few months ahead “with lots on the horizon, including our Grand Opening and new product launches.”

The website can be found at www.drinkwolfhead.com.