Booze News

Former Ballast Point execs get way into the liquors

West Coast's largest distillery? "That's kind of what we're shooting for."

When Ballast Point Brewing & Spirits sold to Constellation Brands in fall 2015, a small part of the business wasn't included: the spirits. For the moment, Ballast Point no longer produces liquor. Instead, a new ...

Craft spirits heads to North Park

619 Vodka to open distillery, restaurant, and bar this spring

Craft spirits are coming soon to North Park. 619 Vodka has started building out a distillery at the former site of a produce shop just off 30th Street (3015 Lincoln Avenue). Slated to open by ...

Dry-hopped sake — oh yeah, it's a thing

Setting Sun's modest growth prediction obliterated

When Setting Sun Sake launched in August, founders Josh Hembree and Keldon Warwick Premuda started with five fermentation vessels — enough to brew 100 gallons of sake per month — and a business model predicting ...

Navy vets dive into spirits biz

Copper collar workers start a distillery in Santee

"Our focus right now is to make great spirits," says Scott Nixon, general manager of Copper Collar Distillery, the craft spirit company he cofounded with head distiller Jason Pelle earlier this year. Pelle and Nixon ...

Not for rookies

Potent, yet low kick, whiskey out of San Marcos

When David Jackson opened Perfect Soul whiskey in San Marcos in late 2015, he entered what is still a pretty young San Diego spirits market. However, he'd already built a career working with hard liquor. ...

Malahat's spirits are all heart

Miramar brewery invokes Prohibition, but keeps its booze pure

Upon entering the Malahat Spirits Co. tasting room in Miramar, customers find a small maze meant to invoke the smuggling operations once required to bring San Diego contraband liquor. It's also a nod to the ...

The most regulated industry in the United States

Whoever said the economy ran like a well-oiled machine never studied the spirits industry

Thanks to recent changes in state law, the California Spirits Company will officially open its San Marcos tasting room to the public on June 9. While owner and distiller Casey Miles embraces the opportunity to ...

Liberty Call's new liberties

New law allows Spring Valley distillery to get more creative with its small-batch booze

Earlier this year, a Reader cover story highlighted changes to California law allowing small batch distilleries to sell bottles out of their tasting rooms. Only a few months later, this change is helping Spring Valley ...

San Diego Distillery won't compete with Kentucky

Trent Tilton's whiskey kick includes the definitely different

Spring Valley doesn't boast any craft breweries, but it's playing a pivotal role in San Diego's burgeoning craft-distillery movement. Kill Devil Spirits Co. started out there back in 2011, Liberty Call Distilling Co. in 2014, ...

Captain Morgan, not Kill Devil, is the competition

No one knows what's going on

This year signaled a new era for local small-batch distillers. Assembly Bill 1295, also known as the Craft Distillers Act of 2015, went into effect on January 1, reversing archaic liquor laws that date to ...

San Diego spirits brand relaunches with local ingredients

Home of the scorpion-peppered vodka

As of the new year, 619 Vodka is produced in its home area code. When Nick Apostolopoulos decided to launch the San Diego–based brand back in 2011, setting up a distillery in San Diego was ...

Moonshine and Dominican beans unite

Coffee + booze

As more local breweries have partnered with local roasters, coffee beers have become something of a regional specialty, racking up national awards left and right. Now, as San Diego’s craft-spirit scene has grown past its ...

License to Spill

007’s martini choices leave local bartenders shaken

James Bond not only rules the box office, but the super spy has also shaken and stirred trends at cocktail bars since the 1960s. With the release of the latest Daniel Craig flick Spectre, some ...

Craft cocktails

Understand the spirit

If San Diego had an official drink, it would almost certainly be a beer. Something hoppy. (How is there not an America’s Finest Brewery in town yet?) Which leaves San Diego cocktails free to represent ...

You’ll never get a drink made from this recipe in any bar, anywhere

There will be a reckoning

Just six years ago, Reader legend Ollie laid out an Old Fashioned recipe that, stripped of its existential and romantic trappings, involved dissolving a sugar cube in a splash of water, adding two dashes of ...

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