Jörg Rupf founded St. George Spirits’ artisan spirit distillery back in 1982, both a forerunner and a true trailblazer of the modern American craft distilling movement. As well as the St. George Spirits branded releases, they are also the chaps who produce Hangar One Vodka.
For the first 15 years, the Californian distillery only produced top quality eau de vie (despite many Americans not knowing what it was!), but as time went on, the St. George Spirits repertoire started to expand. Lance Winters joined the team in 1996, a former U.S. Navy nuclear engineer and brewer, who used a bottle of homemade whiskey as his résumé. Nice. Four years later, Lot 1 of St George Single Malt Whiskey is released.
Since then, the company has continued to grow in exciting directions by making new artisan products, including a trio of craft gins (the Terroir, the Botanivore and the Dry Rye Gin), and St. George Absinthe Verte, the first American absinthe sold legally since the ban on the spirit was enacted in 1912 and lifted in 2007.
The distillery moved to its current location at the Alameda Naval Air Station (in a massive airplane hangar!) in Alameda , California, in 2004. More recently, after 28 years of being the St. George Spirits Master Distiller, Rupf handed the role over to Lance Winters in 2010.