Sunday, October 28, 2012

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30 Years Under the Influence, a Panel Discussion at St. George Spirits

In an era when new American spirits are hitting the shelves so fast that it's hard to keep straight what's on offer from whom, it's discordant to realize that within living memory fewer than a hundred distilleries operated legally in the United States. Though "new" no longer seems fitting for a company that was founded years before Ronald Reagan exhorted Mikhail Gorbachev to tear down the Berlin Wall, one of the nation's oldest new distilleries is St. George Spirits. Next month, distillers Lance Winters and Dave Smith will join St. George's founder Jörg Rupf for a panel discussion, 30 Years Under the Influence: St. George’s Tale of Liquid Courage, at the Alameda, California distillery under the auspices of the Commonwealth Club of California.

From the Commonwealth Club, here's the low-down on the event on Friday, November 30th:

30 Years Under the Influence: St. George’s Tale of Liquid Courage
Jörg Rupf, Founder, St. George Spirits
Lance Winters, Master Distiller, St. George Spirits
Dave Smith, Distiller, St. George Spirits
Bob Klein, Proprietor, Oliveto Restaurant - Moderator
When Jörg Rupf founded St. George Spirits in 1982, he was a lone wolf making elegant eaux de vie in a wine cooler world. In those days absinthe was illegal, craft-produced American gins were unheard of, and there was no such thing as an American single malt whiskey. In the decades since, hundreds of new craft spirits producers have followed suit, proof positive that the spirits movement has officially gone the way of micro brewing and coffee roasting - into the realm of the artisanal. Intrigued by the unknown and with a madcap approach to creation, the St. George team has inspired a modern spirits renaissance. Come drink in some history with the godfather of the artisanal distillation movement, Jorg Rupf, resident evil genius Lance Winters, mad alchemist Dave Smith, and other artisans changing the spirits conversation.
Tickets include: A grand tour of the St. George distillery; three specialty, decade-inspired cocktails; hors d’oeuvres; and the panel discussion and after party.
Location: St. George Spirits, 261 Monarch St., Alameda
Time: 7 p.m. check-in; 7:30 p.m. tour; 8:30 p.m. program; 9:30 p.m. after party
Cost: $75 standard, $60 members

Goes well with:
  • Get tickets to the event here.
  • The Commonwealth Club of California, the oldest public affairs forum in the United States, organizes over 400 events in the San Francisco Bay Area every year. The nonpartisan, nonprofit group was founded in 1903 and has sponsored speaking events across a range of political and cultural and cultural topics and affiliations. Past speakers include Teddy Roosevelt, Arnold "Get to da choppah" Schwarzenegger, Bill Gates, Ronald Regan, Nancy Pelosi, and Martin Luther King, Jr.
  • Jeff Levy (of Bread & Gin) joined distiller Lance Winters this past Spring for a pear-and-Bonal cocktail called A Fistful of Pears with pear brandy and pear liqueur. Here's the video and recipe


BW said...

Lets not forget about Germain-Robin
This distillery was also started in 1982 and makes some of the worlds best brown spirits.

Matthew Rowley said...

Absolutely, BW ~ And that, exactly, is why I wrote "one of the nation's oldest new distilleries" when discussing St. George rather than "the oldest" or "the first." I'm pleased to be spending a week with the distillery's co-founder, Hubert Germain-Robin, distilling brandy next month on an old 5 hectoliter French alambic in Oregon.