When you've mastered the art of brewing, where do you go from there? You distill of course. Some of the best breweries around have expanded their horizons, using their talents for the greater good of mankind. With a love of the art of fermentation, breweries are pumping out some of the best craft spirits around. And we couldn't be happier!
In a constant search for innovation and creation, it only makes sense that breweries would want to dabble in the art of distillation. By delving into the world of distillation, consumers can sip on a fine spirit or cocktail made with the same level of expertise that goes into their favorite beer. A double threat to the booze industry, these five well-known breweries are changing the game by producing quality spirits with the same dedication they put into the beers we know and love.
1. Anchor Brewing Company
San Francisco, California
Anchor may be best known for their steam beer, but they have a secret tucked away and it's not the recipe for next year's Christmas Ale release. Their sister company Anchor Distilling is pumping out some top of the line product when it comes to spirits. Producing everything from their Absinthe Brevans H.R. Giger to Anchor Old Tom Gin, you can have a fully stocked liquor cabinet featuring only anchor spirits.
Of course, they wouldn't want to disappoint their fans around Christmas time, so they even made an Anchor Christmas Spirit. Offering a complexity of malt, pine, pecans, and hops, the spirit of Christmas shines through.
2. Mother Earth Brewing
Kinston, North Carolina
Mother Earth is more than just a name, it's a part of how they operate. Sure, they brew beer, and they distill, but they also produce solar-spirits "kissed by the sun." Mother Earth's distilling facility is Leed Certified, meaning they care about being green. Everything from using 100 percent recycled wall insulation right on down to eco flush toilets, Mother Earth lives up to its name.
And the spirits? Being kissed by the sun only makes them taste that much better. Distilling whiskey, gin, and rum, Mother Earth has your basics covered. The whiskey can spend anywhere from six months to two years on White American Oak, while the gin contains a bounty of botanicals processed over a two week time span, and the rum? Their passionate recipe includes a drop of old fashion molasses to sweeten up your tropical cocktails. Mai Tai anyone?
3. New Holland Brewing Company
They may be best known for brewing Dragon's Milk stout, but New Holland is also dedicated to distilling quality spirits. After a surfing trip to Puerto Rico, co-founder Brett VanderKamp fell into love with the rum and brought his new passion back to the states. Delving into the world of distillation, New Holland produces rum, gin, vodka, and whiskey.
If you have a chance to grab a bottle, try the Zeppelin Bend Reserve whiskey. Aged for four years in American Oak then sitting on a sherry cask for nine months, this is a single malt whiskey worthy of pinky sipping.
4. Dogfish Head Brewery
Doing more than making off-centered ales for off-centered people, Dogfish Head also dabbles in some off-centered spirits. For those of you familiar with the eccentric brews pumping out of the Dogfish brewhouse, there spirits are relatively calm. Honing in on their skills, they take care in creating quality product. They did, however, add a couple twists to their take on the classics - as one would expect.
While some may prefer potato vodka, Dogfish Head prefers roasted peanut. The Roasted peanut vodka is a product of their redistilled Analog Vodka, only with whole roasted peanuts, vanilla beans, and a hint of honey to balance it out.
Allergic to peanuts? You can also try different variations on their gin, rum, or if you're adventurous, the Esprit Malade. A concoction of tart apple brandy and cider, the Esprit Malade brings forth notes of green apple, white chocolate, honey, and almonds. It's only offered in limited availability, so lap it up while you can.
5. Rogue Ales & Spirits
Rogue doesn't like to be put in a box. Packaging bubblegum pink bombers of the Voodoo Doughnut series and using beards to cultivate yeast, rogue started its own revolution. With an uncompromising devotion to the world of fermentation, jumping into the world of spirits only made sense. Sourcing ingredients from their own Rogue Farms, and making their own barrels - yeah that's right - Rogue certainly likes to keep the game interesting.
Crafting a line-up of uniquely flavored liquors, the spirits live up to the Rogue revolution. There's the Chipotle Whiskey for the pepper lovers, Dead Guy Whiskey for those who can't get enough of the ale, and of course, Voodoo Maple Bacon Vodka for the doughnut lovers. With spirits like these on the front line, the revolution is holding strong.
What's your favorite brewery that distills? Let us know!