When Ben Murphy graduated from university in Virginia in 2014, he brought home a degree in psychology, the know-how to make moonshine – a skill he picked up from his southern classmates – and a plan to open his own distillery here in Ontario. But the obstacles kept piling up, from nailing down a location to delays in getting a still built. “I called my business Murphy’s Law because everything that could go wrong while I was setting it up did go wrong.”
After the rocky start, Murphy’s Law finally got up and running in 2015 in a red-brick building in downtown Elmira, Ont., right in the heart of Mennonite Country, where Ben single-handedly produces 13 flavours of moonshine. “Like many craft distillers, my main focus is on using 100% local ingredients.” To that end, he makes his Apple Pie moonshine in a pot still with corn from a local mill, apple cider from a nearby orchard and real spices like cinnamon and clove, instead of artificial flavours, then bottles it in mason jars in keeping with southern tradition. That hands-on approach to distilling is getting Murphy's Law noticed, most recently with a Silver Medal for its Caramel Moonshine at the 2019 Canadian Artisan Spirit Competition.