Hangar 1 Vodka
|Manufacturer||St. George Spirits|
|Country of origin||United States|
|Alcohol by volume||40%|
|Related products||List of vodkas|
Hangar 1 Vodka is a brand of vodka which was formerly produced by St. George Spirits in Alameda, California. It is owned and distributed by Proximo Spirits of Jersey City, New Jersey, and is available as a straight vodka as well as in a variety of flavors.
St. George Spirits was founded as America's first eau de vie distillery in 1982 by Jörg Rupf. Rupf grew up in Germany's Black Forest to a family of distillers. He went into law and became, at the time, Germany's youngest judge. On a visit to the University of California at Berkeley in the late 1970s, he decided to stay and distill local fruit to produce eau de vie. In August 2001, Rupf met with fellow artisan distiller Ansley Coale, president of Craft Distillers and a collaborator in Germain-Robin brandy, to discuss producing flavored vodkas using a method similar to the production of eau de vie.
Hangar 1 Vodka was founded in 2001, with Rupf overseeing production and Coale handling design and marketing. Operations were initially based in St. George's distillery in Hangar 1, a 2,000 square-foot World War II-era hangar at the old Alameda Naval Air Station, before expanding to a 60,000 square-foot hangar in Alameda, California, in 2004. In April 2010, Hangar 1 Vodka was acquired by Proximo Spirits, who continued to produce the vodka in Alameda through St. George. until the Summer of 2014. It is now produced in the building next to St George's distillery which it shares with Faction Brewery.
Hangar 1 is a small batch vodka made from a blend of pot-distilled Viognier grapes and column still-distilled American wheat. The flavored varieties are created by infusing the vodka base with fresh fruit, and then distilling the vodka in a pot still. The fresh fruits are obtained in-season from farms throughout the US. The distillation process takes about four weeks per batch from start to finish. Hangar 1's flavored vodkas contain mostly unique fruits, such as Kaffir Lime and Buddha's Hand Citron, as well as experimental flavors such as Chipotle.
|Straight||40%||Unflavored||Blend of Viognier eau de vie with spirit made from Midwestern wheat.|
|Mandarin Blossom||40%||Orange||Made with the blossoms from mandarin orange trees.|
|Buddha's Hand Citron||40%||Lemon||Made with the rare Buddha's hand citron variety typically used for its fragrance.|
|Kaffir Lime||40%||Lime||A lime typically used in Southeast Asian cuisine, Hangar 1 distills the kaffir lime leaves and skin.|
|Maine Wild Blueberry||40%||Blueberry||Made with small wild blueberries from Maine, introduced in 2011.|
|Fraser River Raspberry||40%||Raspberry||Limited edition, made with raspberries from the Fraser River valley.|
|Spiced Pear||40%||Pear||Limited edition, seasonally made with pears from Colorado blended with spices such as cinnamon and nutmeg.|
|Chipotle||40%||Jalapeños and chipotles||Made with a blend of jalepeños, chipotles, habaneros, and bell and purple morita chili peppers. Introduced in 2007 as part of the Alchemist Series, widely available since 2011.|
|Wasabi||40%||Wasabi||Made in 2006 as part of the limited release Alchemist Series; no longer available.|
The Fraser River Raspberry flavor received a score of 96-100 from Wine Enthusiast in 2005, while Mandarin Blossom received a score of 97 in 2010, the Straight variety was given a score of 93 one year later, and Maine Wild Blueberry a 92 the year after that.
In May 2011, a 120-foot-long Hangar 1 Vodka blimp was introduced, touring the US to promote the vodka. It set off on a six-month tour in 2011, with stops in 30 different cities. In August of 2011, during a thunderstorm, the blimp broke free of its moorings in Columbus, Ohio, and landed in a 94-year-old Ohio woman's backyard. The blimp was repaired and continued its tour through California in 2012. It provided some of the coverage for California sporting events, including San Francisco Giants games.
- Allie Pape, "Hangar One and St. George Spirits Are Parting Ways," Eater SF, May 1, 2014.
- “Jorg Rupf,” Tales of the Cocktail. Retrieved March 23, 2014.
- Jason Wilson, Boozehound: On the Trail of the Rare, the Obscure, and the Overrated in Spirits, New York: Ten Speed Press, 2010, pp. 144-45.
- Corby Kummer, “Flavorless No More,” The Atlantic, December 1, 2004.
- Noah Rothbaum, The Business of Spirits, New York: Kaplan Publishing, 2007, p. 53.
- Eric Asimov, “Rare Spirits Borne on Vodka’s Back,” New York Times, January 26, 2010.
- Jessica Maggart, “Our intern takes a ride on the Hangar 1 Vodka blimp,” Charleston City Paper, June 17, 2011.
- Anne Brockhoff, “The boutique vodka made in a hangar,” just-drinks.com, March 7, 2006.
- Elizabeth Browne, “Hangar One charts new course,” San Francisco Business Times, November 4, 2007.
- “News Briefs for July 6, 2011,” Shanken News Daily, July 6, 2011.
- "Hangar 1 Vodka, a Craft Spirits Pioneer in Alameda, Calif., Names Caley Shoemaker as New Head Distiller to Lead Operations and Champion Product's Well-Established Quality and Integrity," PR Newswire, April 29, 2014.
- “Hangar One Vodka is proud to announce its newest flavor, Maine Wild Blueberry,” youngsmarket.com, September 14, 2011.
- Greg Harned, “Hangar One Buddha’s Hand Citron Vodka,” The Hooch Life, February 1, 2012.
- “Drink me: Hangar One Chipotle Vodka,” Hedonia, May 27, 2007.
- Florence Fabricant, “Chipotle Vodka, More From Mexico Than Moscow,” New York Times, March 22, 2011.
- Ratings Search, Wine Enthusiast. Retrieved March 23, 2014.
- Nick Greene, “Vodka Blimp Breaks Free of Moorings and Lands in Backyard,” Village Voice, August 14, 2011.