San Francisco home distillers
- An article from last week's San Francisco Chronicle...
Moonshiners live among us. By day they appear to be respectable members of society, perhaps writing software to make your Internet experience run smoothly. But at night and on weekends, after a visit to the farmers' market or a nice brunch, they work in secret, sterilizing equipment, taking specific gravity and temperature measurements, and waiting impatiently as their illegal hooch drip, drip, drips out of tiny stills.
" 'Illegal' is such a judgmental word," jokes Doug (not his real name), who makes moonshine along with his friend Ron (also not his real name) at Ron's house in the Upper Haight.
The two have been distilling for less than a year. "We started home brewing, then we got into 'advanced brewing,' as we like to say to the neighbors," Ron says.
A disclaimer: the writer (Camper English) quotes me in the article and we drank more than a drop over the course of the interview. After a week in San Francisco, I got to know some of the local home distillers and am pleased to report that these guys not only know their stuff, but are putting out some serious liquor.
Bit by bit, drop by drop, home distilling is earning more mainstream respect. Trying to do my share...