Hangar 1, a well-known Vodka distillery, is planning to close down its facility in Alameda. According to the San Francisco Chronicle, this local favorite tasting center is set to shut down this coming December 18.
Their vodka tasting room, opened nine years ago on the island’s west end—next to Faction Brewing and a former rock-climbing area called Rock Wall Wine—is described as consisting of animated adventures, lazy Sundays, and everything in between.
The good news is we might only be saying goodbye to the company for a while. A representative from Hangar 1, Marissa Sturm, shared that the company will be transferring its production to a currently unknown sister distillery located in the Bay Area.
“This has been a difficult decision for the team but unfortunately it is required to meet the changing needs of the business. Hangar 1 Vodka will continue to be made at our partner distillery in the Bay Area, using the same production methods and ingredients.” Stated Sturm, referring to the latest news of Hangar 1 closing its doors.
Hangar 1 was initially founded in 2002 by Jörg Rupf, master distiller Lance Winters of St. George Spirits—a company that Mr. Rupf also co-founded—along with Ansley Coale from Germain-Robin. The brand came to be when Rupf and Winters applied their knowledge of giving fruit-flavored spirits a pure taste so they might develop flavored vodkas. From this, a new craft vodka was born, and it skyrocketed St. George Spirits to a higher pedestal in the world of liquor.
In 2004, Rupf and Winters moved their operation into a 65,000-square-foot hangar in Alameda. That same year they opened a tasting room that featured the vodkas—as well as absinthe and other spirits made by them for sale to the public. They were the first company to sell legal absinthe in the United States.
When 2010 rolled around, they started to sell their most popular gin trio: The Botanivore, Dry Rye, and Terroir. St. George Spirits continued to be the leading brand in the world of craft. Hangar 1 Vodka was sold to New Jersey-based Proximo Spirits, which also produces Three Olives Vodka. Hangar One’s founders agreed to produce their products under the Proximo name for four years.
In 2014, Proximo Spirits took over the operation of St. George’s distillery.
Three years later—in 2017—they opened a tasting room and production facility directly next to their original location at 2505 Monarch Street in another airplane hangar. It opened a tasting room with breathtaking views of San Francisco’s skyline and Golden Gate Bridge.
Although this is unfortunate for local fans of the tasting room, our hopes are that the Hangar 1 brand continues to fly high.