SanTan Brewing Company, known for beer, will be dropping a line of spirits at local stores, bars, and restaurants by Memorial Day Weekend. With the added line of spirits, San Tan will be known as "SanTan Brewery, Distillery + Eatery."
Brant Gasparek will be the mind and palate behind the hooch. He has won awards as a distiller and has spent 25 years as a chef in Arizona and Washington.
In SanTan's first release there will be a whiskey and two vodkas.
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The whiskey, Sacred Stave, is a single malt. Aged in Arizona red wine barrels, Sacred Stave has medaled at the San Francisco World Spirit Competition.
The two vodkas each go through a filtration that lasts up to 10 hours. One of the two has been filtered through makrut lime leaves (also known as "kaffir" lime leaves, a k-word with an ugly history and ready for the dustbin), giving the vodka the flavor of that popular Asian culinary ingredient. Both vodkas are diluted to 80 proof from their concentrated state using mineral water.
All three spirits use malted American barley.
Spirits are one of the last pockets of the food world where local has not supplanted global. Generally, the big guys are better than the little. Maybe SanTan can reverse this long trend.