St. George Spirits Logo

St George Spirits Distillery

  • USA, California
  • TAG Global Spirits Awards, Indigo Award, Distillery of the Year 2008
Phone Number
  • +15107691601
  • 2601 Monarch St, Alameda, CA 94501, United States

St. George Spirits distillery building exterior under clear sky.

History of St George Spirits

History of St George Spirits

Founding and Early Years

St George Spirits was founded in 1982 by Jörg Rupf, who is often credited as a pioneer in the American craft distilling movement. Rupf, inspired by the distilling traditions of his native Germany, began by producing eau de vie, a clear fruit brandy, in a small setup in Alameda, California. This marked the beginning of what would become one of the most innovative craft distilleries in the United States.

Expansion and Innovation

In the years that followed, St George Spirits expanded its portfolio beyond eau de vie. The distillery was among the first in the country to experiment with and produce a wide variety of craft spirits. Under the guidance of master distiller Lance Winters, who joined in 1996, St George began to explore new territories in spirit production, including vodka, gin, and absinthe.

Present Day and Future Directions

Today, St George Spirits stands as a hallmark of innovation in the American craft distilling scene. The distillery continues to experiment with new flavors and techniques, constantly pushing the boundaries of traditional spirit production. Their commitment to quality and craft has earned them a loyal following and numerous accolades in the spirits industry.

Environmental and Community Commitment

Beyond spirit production, St George Spirits is also known for its commitment to sustainability and community involvement. The distillery implements environmentally friendly practices in its production processes and actively participates in community events and initiatives in the Alameda area.

Awards Won by St George Spirits

Spirit Journal Hall of Fame: In September 2014, St George Spirits was inducted into the Spirit Journal Hall of Fame. This was a significant honour, recognizing the distillery as one of the pioneering entities in the early years of artisanal distilling in the United States.

Craft Whiskey of the Year: Whisky Advocate named St George Single Malt Whiskey as the Craft Whiskey of the Year in December 2014. This award was given for its unique flavor profile, which includes delicate fruit, nuts, and sweet malt, with a touch of unsweetened chocolate on the palate.

TAG Global Spirits Awards: St George Spirits has been recognised at the TAG Global Spirits Awards, though specific details of the awards won were not available in the source.

Indigo Award: In 2023, St George Spirits received the Indigo Award. This award is given to entities for exceptional design and creativity, showcasing the distillery’s commitment not only to the quality of their spirits but also to their presentation and branding.

Distillery of the Year 2008: Awarded by the American Distilling Institute, this recognition in 2008 marked St George Spirits as a standout in the distillery industry, acknowledging their quality production and contribution to the craft distilling movement.

St George Spirits Tour Information and Experience

Overview of the Tour

Location: The distillery is housed in a 65,000-square-foot hangar at 2601 Monarch Street, Alameda, CA 94501, which includes a spectacular tasting room and a laboratory.

Tour Experience

  • Tour Duration: The tour lasts approximately 1 hour and 30 minutes.
  • Walk Through: You’ll take a walk through the distillery, getting a close look at the beautiful copper stills used in the distillation process and learning about the history of St George’s.
  • Guided Tasting: Following the tour, you will experience a guided tasting of various alcohols produced on-site. This is an excellent opportunity to understand the nuances of their craft spirits.
  • Souvenir: Participants often walk away with a special keepsake, like a signed bottle of whiskey by the distiller.

Booking and Availability

By Appointment: Tastings and mini-cocktail flights are available only by appointment, which can be booked online.

Bottle Shop: For those interested in purchasing spirits, the bottle shop is open to walk-ins during business hours.

Group Size and Pricing

Group Size: The tours are designed to accommodate groups of 20-40 people.

Price: The cost per person for the tour and tasting experience is around $85.

Cancellation Policy

St George Spirits offers a flexible cancellation policy, allowing for a full refund, rescheduling, or modification of the headcount up to 3 days before the original event date.

Unique Aspect

St George Spirits prides itself on crafting spirits that are distinctive and contribute something new to the world of distillation. The tour gives an insight into this creative process and the distillery’s commitment to quality.

The St George Spirits tour offers a blend of educational and sensory experiences, making it a must-visit for spirit enthusiasts and those curious about the art of distillation.

Flask & Barrel Review of St George Spirits

I recently had the pleasure of visiting St George Spirits, and I must say, as a whiskey collector who’s been on numerous distillery tours, this experience was top-notch. The distillery’s setting in a vast hangar in Alameda gives it a unique industrial charm that blends well with the art of spirit making.

The tour itself was a well-orchestrated journey through the distillery’s operations. What stood out to me was the array of beautiful copper stills, which are not just functional but almost artistic in their design. The guide was knowledgeable and enthusiastic, clearly passionate about their craft, which added an extra layer of enjoyment to the experience.

As for the tasting session, it was a highlight. Each spirit had its distinct character, and the single malt whiskey was particularly impressive. It had a complexity and smoothness that you’d expect from a high-quality craft spirit. The fact that I got to take home a signed bottle was the cherry on top.

The only slight drawback, if I had to mention one, was the size of the group. While the tour was engaging, a smaller group might have allowed for a more intimate and in-depth discussion about the distilling process. But this is a minor point in an otherwise exceptional experience.

What To Do Nearby St George Spirits

Altarena Playhouse: Only 2.4 miles from St George Spirits, this community theater has been entertaining audiences since the late 1930s with a range of classic and contemporary plays.

Frank Bette Center for the Arts: Located 2.2 miles away, this vibrant art center in a bright yellow Victorian building offers classes, exhibits, and various artistic events.

Alameda Theatre & Cineplex: Situated 2.7 miles from the distillery, this historic Art Deco theater from 1932 offers a unique movie-watching experience with its vintage charm and modern Cinema Grill.

Admiral Maltings: Just 0.6 miles away, this malthouse and pub offers a selection of regional craft brews and a menu of delicious snacks and sandwiches.

Alameda Island Brewing Company: A mere 2.4 miles from St George Spirits, this brewery features a large, family-friendly tasting room and offers guided tours of its brewing facilities.

Alameda Naval Air Museum: About 1.5 miles from the distillery, this museum showcases the history of the Alameda Naval Air Base with a collection of photographs, documents, and archives.

Alameda Museum: Located 2.6 miles away, it provides insights into the history of Alameda with permanent and temporary exhibits, including tours of the historic Meyers House & Garden.

Antiques By The Bay: At a distance of about 2.9 miles, this is the largest antiques fair in Northern California, offering a wide range of vintage items.

Dan’s Fresh Produce: Situated 2.7 miles from the distillery, this market offers fresh fruits, vegetables, and a variety of local and organic products.

Shoreline Park: Only 3.5 miles away, it’s a perfect spot for a leisurely stroll or bike ride with scenic views of the Lake Merritt Channel and the city of Oakland.

Spirits Alley: Right next to St George Spirits, this area is home to a cluster of artisan distilleries and tasting rooms, offering a unique experience with panoramic views of the San Francisco city skyline.

Frequently Asked Questions

What restaurants are near St George Spirits?

Guadalajara: It has a rating of 4.3 stars on Google Maps. For reservations, you can reach out to them at +15105337194. Their address is 1001 Fruitvale Ave, Alameda, CA.

Emil’s Burger & Breakfast: This restaurant has a rating of 4.3 stars on Google Maps. You can call them at +15105360888. They are located at 3301 E 12th St, Alameda, CA.

Vien Huong Restaurant: It has a rating of 4.4 stars on Google Maps. You can contact them for reservations at +15104655938. The restaurant is situated at 712 Franklin St, Alameda, CA.

What hotels are near St George Spirits?

Hilton Garden Inn San Francisco/Oakland Bay Bridge: It has a rating of 4.1 stars on Google Maps. For reservations, you can reach out to them at +15106589300. Their address is 1800 Powell St, Emeryville, CA 94608, United States.

Oakland Marriott City Center: This hotel has a rating of 4.3 stars on Google Maps. You can contact them at +15104514000 and address is 1001 Broadway, Oakland, CA 94607, United States.

Courtyard by Marriott Oakland Downtown: It has a rating of 4.2 stars on Google Maps. You can contact them for reservations at +15106258282. The hotel’s address is 988 Broadway, Oakland, CA 94607, United States.