Founded as an eau de vie distillery nearly 30 years ago, the principles of Old World eau de vie distillation continue to inform every product that is made at St. George Spirits in Alameda. And that’s why the place has become recognized as an institution both inside California and out.
The distillers at St. George Spirits work in exceptionally small batches with beautiful copper pot stills. They watch the stills carefully and taste as they go. These techniques allow them to dispose of any pot that isn’t coming together perfectly rather than adding more ingredients to try and rescue a larger pot. St. George Spirits claims that they use these techniques because their goal is to maximize flavor and aroma and not profits. But they have allowed them to maximize that too because of the reputation it has helped them to earn and maintain.
St. George Spirits is also known for the 10-liter test still that is kept on site and operated like a laboratory where experiments are always being conducted. The distillers hope to come up with the next big thing by combining traditional ingredients with ones that are less conventional, like wasabi root, lobes of goose lives, candy cap mushrooms, and noble fir.
The distillery is considered one of the best in the country for absinthe, which wasn’t legalized in the United States until 2007. At that point, though, the employees at St. George Spirits had been creating absinthe for 11 years just for themselves.