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A Press Democrat Blog

Beer Country

A digest about that other famous beverage

Sonoma County Beer, Cider, and Spirits conference takes shape

Lineup set for first ever conference on Sonoma County’s booming artisan beverage industry.… Read More »

Charbay celebrates 30 years

  1983 must have been a great year in the area, because here we are celebrating yet another 30th anniversary – St. Helena-based brandy and spirits-maker Charbay is marking the successful end of its third decade by releasing the Alambic Collection, seven recent and vintage spirits produced over the years on the company’s copper Alambic Charentais Pot Stills, housed at their distillery up in Ukiah. That’s master distiller Marko Karakasevic up there with the stills, installed by his father Miles, who… Read More »

Spirit Works Sloe Gin hits the shelves

Sebastopol distiller Spirit Works is finally releasing its new sloe gin, which they say is the first traditional sloe gin made in the United States. They tell me that the distributor should be getting the bottles next week, so it should roll out in bars and stores over the next month or so. Owners Ashby and Timo Marshall based the recipe on one handed down through Timo’s family in England, where people make a specialty of foraging for wild berries and steeping… Read More »

Governor signs spirits tasting bill

Gov. Brown has signed the liquor tasting bill that we wrote about last week, allowing most distillers to offer tastings at their production facilities. Distillers aren’t exactly celebrating, however, since the bill does not allow direct sales of most kinds of spirits, the way wineries and breweries can do. Until that happens, many brewers say there is no point in setting up a tasting room. Dig into this question and it quickly becomes cleat that California’s liquor licensing is more… Read More »