Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Fog's End Distillery, Gonzales, Ca.

Our neighbor has a distillery in Gonzales which is toward the southern end of Monterey County.  It's just a small town along Highway 101 established a hundred years, or so, ago by Swiss-Italians who found the region reminded them of their homeland in Northern Italy.  They established farms and dairies and many are still in operation and continue to be family owned. It is Ag Country.

Craig, our neighbor, is a retired Deputy Sheriff.  He was young enough, when he retired, to begin a new career and he decided he'd become a distiller.  He is virtually the only distiller in Monterey County, his product line now includes five lables: California Moonshine, Monterey Rye, White Dog, Primo Agua Ardiente, and a kit called Fog's End Hand Craft Your Flavor which is sold with oak sticks to add to the bottle and age at whatever length of time the home crafter prefers.  

Fog's End Distillery is a one man show.  Craig does it all, the brewing, the distilling, the bottling, the sales and the marketing. He drives out of our neighborhood in the wee hours of the morning to be at the distillery by 3 a.m.  He puts in many 18 hour days, sometimes more. He is meticulous, surgery could 

be performed on the premises it is so clean.  V got involved when Craig got his idea for the kits. He needed the sticks cut to specific proportions and v's got a nice little woodworking studio just beyond the garden.

A year, or so, ago Craig was featured on a cable television show called Drinking Made Easy.  Business began taking off.  The kit was a hit! V was making sawdust and Craig was shipping cases.  So it has now evolved that v has taken on some of the sales and marketing. He has many connections with the restaurant trade in the area and is also well known in the theater community. His showmanship and natural Italian charm makes him a natural salesman.  

Aside from really wanting to see our friend and neighbor succeed, we are very excited that this is a local, artisanal,  product! Buying a Fog's End product reduces our carbon footprint on the Central Coast and all over California. Less carbon is dumped in the ocean.  How good is that?  If you see it please try it. Many area restaurants and bars are stocking it. Nepenthe and Post Ranch in Big Sur serve it, Mission Ranch in Carmel and the Clement Intercontinental Hotel in Monterey have it on their list as well. I'm excited that chefs are developing recipes using it. 

It's just nice to see such a mild mannered, soft spoken man like Craig, succeed. 

Thank you, Craig and v for letting me get in behind the scenes to take my pictures.

In bocca al lupo. m & v


  1. Liquor - interesting! I remember tasting the Moonshine:strong. I'm wondering how the White Dog and Primo Agua Ardiente taste. You know, in Scotland, they have a tour called the Whiskey Trail. Folks travel from one distillery to the next, sampling a "wee dram" at each one. Well, you can imagine... However, Craig and V. might consider an open house for tasting... I'd go - with a designated driver! m-e

  2. Great idea! I will pass it on. m:)