Gin presents distillers with a relatively broad canvas to work with; in the U.S., it is defined only as a spirit no less than 80 proof produced by distilling or mixing with juniper berries.
It’s no surprise then, that with its reputation for innovation, the Bay Area is a significant contributor to the profusion of craft-distilled regional brands that are helping to drive the gin class.
Here’s a sampling of Bay Area gin’s best-known pours and best-kept secrets, all a far cry from your grandpa’s Gordon’s. Looking for barrel aged and sloe gins? You’ll find those, too.
Call it the original. Now in its 25th year on the market, Junipero distilled and bottled on the San Francisco waterfront lays claim to being the first American-made craft gin after Prohibition.
Master distiller Arne Hillesland has expanded upon the eminently quaffable citrus and cardamom-accented original No. 209 Gin with a trio of tributes to Northern California’s winemaking heritage.
Located in a former airplane hangar in the East Bay city of Alameda, the St. George Distillery is determinedly focused on distinctive craftsmanship more than marketing campaigns.