St. George Spirits - 2015 Craft Whiskey Producer of the Year (Icons of Whisky) - have been producing artisanal spirits since 1982. Founded by Jörg Rupf, the distillery is both a forerunner and a true trailblazer of the modern American craft distilling movement.
For the first 15 years, the Californian distillery 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 was released.
Since then, the company has continued to grow in exciting directions by creating new artisan products, including a trio of craft gins (Terroir, Botanivore and 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.
With craft distilling having really taken off in a huge way over in America over the last few years, F. Paul Pacult's Spirit Journal describes St. George Spirits as "Iconic".