Hangar 1 Vodka

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Hangar One Vodka
Hangar One Vodka Logo.jpg
Type Vodka
Manufacturer Proximo Spirits
Distributor Proximo Spirits
Country of origin United States
Introduced 2002
Alcohol by volume 40%
Proof (US) 80
Related products List of vodkas
Website hangarone.com

Hangar 1 Vodka is a brand of vodka which was formerly produced by St. George Spirits in Alameda, California.[1] 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.[2][3] 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.[4][5][6]

Hangar 1 Vodka was founded in 2001,[7] with Rupf overseeing production and Coale handling design and marketing.[8][9] 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.[8] In April 2010, Hangar 1 Vodka was acquired by Proximo Spirits, who continued to produce the vodka in Alameda through St. George.[10] until the Summer of 2014. It is now produced in the building next to St George's distillery which it shares with Faction Brewery.[11]


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.[4][7][8] The fresh fruits are obtained in-season from farms throughout the US.[12][13] The distillation process takes about four weeks per batch from start to finish.[9] 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.[14]


Name ABV Flavor Notes
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.[12]
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.[14][15]
Wasabi 40% Wasabi Made in 2006 as part of the limited release Alchemist Series; no longer available.[14]


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.[16]


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.[7][10] In August 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.[17] 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.


  1. ^ Allie Pape, "Hangar One and St. George Spirits Are Parting Ways," Eater SF, May 1, 2014.
  2. ^ “Jorg Rupf,” Tales of the Cocktail. Retrieved March 23, 2014.
  3. ^ 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.
  4. ^ a b Corby Kummer, “Flavorless No More,” The Atlantic, December 1, 2004.
  5. ^ Noah Rothbaum, The Business of Spirits, New York: Kaplan Publishing, 2007, p. 53.
  6. ^ Eric Asimov, “Rare Spirits Borne on Vodka’s Back,” New York Times, January 26, 2010.
  7. ^ a b c Jessica Maggart, “Our intern takes a ride on the Hangar 1 Vodka blimp,” Charleston City Paper, June 17, 2011.
  8. ^ a b c Anne Brockhoff, “The boutique vodka made in a hangar,” just-drinks.com, March 7, 2006.
  9. ^ a b Elizabeth Browne, “Hangar One charts new course,” San Francisco Business Times, November 4, 2007.
  10. ^ a b “News Briefs for July 6, 2011,” Shanken News Daily, July 6, 2011.
  11. ^ "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.
  12. ^ a b “Hangar One Vodka is proud to announce its newest flavor, Maine Wild Blueberry,” youngsmarket.com, September 14, 2011.
  13. ^ Greg Harned, “Hangar One Buddha’s Hand Citron Vodka,” The Hooch Life, February 1, 2012.
  14. ^ a b c “Drink me: Hangar One Chipotle Vodka,” Hedonia, May 27, 2007.
  15. ^ Florence Fabricant, “Chipotle Vodka, More From Mexico Than Moscow,” New York Times, March 22, 2011.
  16. ^ Ratings Search, Wine Enthusiast. Retrieved March 23, 2014.
  17. ^ Nick Greene, “Vodka Blimp Breaks Free of Moorings and Lands in Backyard,” Village Voice, August 14, 2011.

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