EASTERN SIERRA SPIRITS PROJECT
EASTERN SIERRA SPIRITS PROJECT
We are privileged to announce the release of the Eastern Sierra Spirits Project on December 20th, 2021. A project born from an unexpected pandemic that brought out the best of small business and community in the darkest of times, but as often the case, adversity brings us together in the most curious of ways.
As we are all aware, 2020 was quite a wild ride for small business. In the Eastern Sierra of California, where tourism is the biggest economic driver, it felt especially painful. As businesses were shuttered in March, the Eastern Sierra Craft Brewing community was forced to close their doors to the public and were saddled with unsellable batches of beer that would deteriorate in quality as the pandemic wore on. Instead of letting this beer go to waste, our craft community banded together and batches of beer began arriving here at Shelter Distilling in Mammoth Lakes, CA. We received batches of beer from June Lake Brewing, Mammoth Brewing Co., Distant Brewing (Mammoth Lakes, CA), Mountain Rambler (Bishop, CA) and Eastern Sierra Wholesalers. Shelter Distilling also bought kegs of beer back from retail accounts to create our own spirit.
Each batch of beer was distilled on our 650L Carl still and yielded one barrel’s worth of spirit. Each spirit was laid to rest and aged in American Oak Barrels for the next year and half. Upon bottling, we created five unique spirits, one from each brewery. In further bridging the gap between distillery and brewery, we are releasing these spirits in 375ml bottles which has effectively allowed us to create a six pack of unique spirits. In all, five of the six 375ml bottles contain a single breweries creation distilled to its essence and the sixth is a communal blend of all the contributions to further highlight the solidarity within our industries and our community here in the Eastern Sierra.
This Eastern Sierra Spirits Project has produced some very special limited edition spirits and represents why community is so important. Revenue from these bottles will be split with the breweries to help recoup their costs and provide some much needed working capital. In addition, all breweries involved have volunteered to donate a portion of sales to the Eastern Sierra Avalanche Center, who provide critical snow studies to keep our adventurers safe and informed on current avalanche conditions, training and backcountry ethics.
While we would have liked to release these earlier, just as it was important for the breweries listed above to create quality beer, it was equally important for us to do our part with the art of distillation and to wait patiently for these spirits to age. But now is the time, we’ve waited for theses spirits to age, it’s time to crack them open with friends and family and share them with the community that has been so supportive. Let us all raise a glass together, near and far, and give a cheers to all those who continue to make incredible craft libations!