As is the case in just about every U.S. state, the number of distilleries in Arizona has been growing significantly from year to year, according to the Craft Spirits Data Project. Here’s a look at some of what’s been happening in the great Southwest.
Known for its Del Bac brand, Hamilton Distillers
in Tucscon has mastered the art of mesquite-smoked whiskey making. Hamilton operates its own malt house to help facilitate its innovations, all under the Del Bac Whiskey label. Among its single malt offerings are Mesquite-Smoked Del Bac Clear, Dorado and Winter Release, as well as Cask Strength and Classic Unsmoked. Hamilton captures the flavors of the Southwest in every bottle.
In the fall of 2017, Grand Canyon Brewing in Williams became the latest in a growing number of beer producers to integrate distilling into their operations. Now, Grand Canyon Distillery
produces an expansive range of spirits, including Rum, Gin, Vodka, Prickly Pear Vodka, Orange Blossom Vodka and Un-Aged Corn Whiskey. Additionally, there are more than 50 barrels of Bourbon, Single Malt Whiskey and other spirits aging as we speak, waiting to be unleashed upon the world.
Speaking of brewers-turned-distillers, SanTan Distilling
was born from the Chandler, Arizona brewery of the same name. Last summer the distillery rolled out its first products, Sacred Stave Single Malt Whiskey, aged in Arizona red wine barrels; Vodka and Kaffir Lime Vodka. SanTan uses only 1 00 percent American malted barley for both its whiskey and its vodka.
in the town of the same name, meanwhile, is part of a company known for another craft beverage: wine. Among the products coming out of the spirits arm of Arizona Craft Beverage are Arizona Straight Bourbon Whiskey, El Gin (get it?), Four Monkey Silver Rum, Four Monkey Ron Miel honeyed rum, Four Monkey Double Black Rum, Elgin Brandy 4 Year and Trevor’s Own Grape Vodka. But the distillery is, perhaps, best known for Regalo de Vida Rum, the Best in Show winner in last year’s ACSA Judging of Craft Spirits.
Tempe’s Arizona Distilling Co
. has found success in multiple spirits categories as well, with its Commerce Gin, Desert Durum Wheat Whiskey, Copper City Bourbon, Humphrey’s Arizona Malt Whiskey, Park Rye Whiskey and Mission Vodka.
Arizona’s cocktail scene has been evolving quite rapidly, particularly in the greater Phoenix-Scottsdale area. Phoenix is home to its very own tiki bar, UnderTow, featuring classic tropical drinks, as well as some house originals, including Bridge of Two Cultures, Lost Loot, Dutchmen’s Demise and the Smoking Cannon. For a less South Seas-inspired cocktail experience, visit Scottsdale’s Second Story Restaurant and Liquor Bar, The Bourbon Cellar
and Hush Public House