Hotaling & Co. Hophead Vodka
In 2011, after a great deal of experimentation, distillers developed Hophead Vodka using small copper pot stills. Distilled with two types of dried hops from Washington State’s Yakima Valley, Hophead is vodka built on flavor, but is not a “flavored” vodka. This premium craft vodka captures the fresh, romantic character of hops without the typical bitterness.
The original Anchor Distilling Company was established in 1993 by Fritz Maytag, the same beverage visionary who sparked the craft beer movement with his purchase of Anchor Brewing in 1965. Maytag had rescued the struggling brewery and its iconic steam beer, and after several decades of exclusively producing beer, Maytag saw an opportunity to expand into the distillation of spirits.
Fritz’s vision of a rye whiskey revival was fueled by the bold realization that there were no pot-distilled whiskeys being made legally in America at the time. Finding inspiration in the rye whiskeys of America’s past and the great single malt whiskies of Scotland, Fritz gathered a small team to begin top secret research and experimentation in the distillery. The first whiskey went into barrel in 1994, and the distillery soon began producing three rye whiskeys under Fritz’s guidance, all pot-distilled spirit from a mash of 100% malted rye. Over time, the range of spirits expanded into other categories, with the addition of Junípero Gin and Genevieve genever. The creation of Junípero was particularly significant, as it effectively started the movement towards high-end craft gin in the United States.
In 2017, Anchor Brewing Company was sold. In early 2018, the new name of “Hotaling & Co.” was announced, a reference to one of Anchor Distilling’s most beloved small batch whiskies and to the San Francisco legend A.P. Hotaling, who came out West during the Gold Rush and quickly became one of the most reputable spirits dealers in the country.