Sonoma County’s Lagunitas brewery hooked up with Griffo Distillery during the pandemic to make hand sanitizer, and the two makers ended up with inspiration to make a hoppy spirit.
In a recent story from the Santa Rosa Press Democrat, the genesis of the collaboration was explained by the team at Griffo Distillery. It was the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic, in May of 2020, when Mike and Jenny Griffo put out a desperate plea, looking for any wineries or breweries that had any alcohol to spare.
That was when the couple converted their Petaluma-based Griffo Distillery into a hand-sanitizer production facility to help fill the national shortage. They got a call from Lagunitas’ brewmaster, Jeremy Marshall.
Lagunitas just made a batch of their Waldos’ Special Ale, and because bars and restaurants weren’t open, they couldn’t sell their kegged beer. Marshall contacted Griffo and asked if they wanted the extra beer.
Griffo Distillery is next door to the Lagunitas Brewery, and Marshall had befriended the Griffos over the years.
In the Press Democrat article, the brewers and distillers explained that while they were turning a hoppy IPA into hand sanitizer, they found the aromatics of the distillation to be intoxicating, and they decided to brew a new batch, distill it all the way down, and put it into a barrel.
They made two distillation runs in Griffo’s copper-pot still, and brought the whiskey down to 84 proof (42% ABV). They then aged the spirit in an American oak cask for three years.
Still Waldos Single Malt Whiskey is available at Griffo Distillery in Petaluma, CA or on their website (for shipping in California). It has a suggested price of $96 for a 750ml bottle.
For more information or to find a bottle, check out www.griffodistillery.com/pages/still-waldos.
Read the full article at Lagunitas, Griffo Distillery Team Up For Unique Single Malt Whiskey