Alameda Magazine: Family Run Distillery Expands

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A family-owned vodka company, distilling aromatic small-batch organic produce-infused spirits in soaring imported copper stills, surrounded by sun-baked golden California chaparral, then sealing those spirits into tall clear bottles whose quaint, intensely informative labels evoke vintage apothecary shops.

Then it’s sipped straight or poured into cocktails that include brine or Earl Grey tea or local honey.

What century is this, anyway?

Well — if you heard that one of those infusions was habanero, you’d know: Hanson of Sonoma draws upon yesterday to be all about today.

Stocked at Oakland’s Shakewell, Berkeley’s Gather and Stella Nonna, Richmond’s Brezo, and the Moraga Country Club, Hanson of Sonoma vodkas are made about an hour’s drive from Oakland in Sonoma, obviously, where the company’s airy, concrete-floored new tasting room is launching this week.

“These guys got me into this business,” said dad Scott Hanson, beaming warmly at his sons Brandon and Chris during a tour of the facilities. While studying in London seven years ago, Chris “fell in love with the distilling process,” Scott explained. Meanwhile, so did Brandon, who was…

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