A fixture on the local craft brew scene, Michael Skubic earned his beer chops as the co-founder and former head of sales for Hess Brewing Company. Now, Skubic is turning his talents towards a no less delicious venture, craft spirits. He's starting the construction of Old Harbor Distilling Company, which will occupy a 7,500-square-foot warehouse in the East Village.
Skubic's done extensive travel and research to divine the spirited line-up that he'll soon craft on his new 1,000 liter copper still. Expect to taste three varieties of small batch gin; his 1542 will use botanicals native to California, another will be infused with cilantro and epazote and a third gin will get a dose of hops. Both a blended and a blackstrap molasses rum (great for tiki drinks) will also be among the first releases.
Whiskey is one of Skubic's favorite tipples, so Old Harbor will produce at least four - The Kid, a single malt whiskey, a bourbon, rye and a smoked whiskey. He also plans to collaborate with local farms and other San Diego craft food makers; seasonal eau de vies distilled from local produce are planned, as well as a hop liqueur and a coffee liqueur (think iced coffee with rum) done collaboration with North Park's Coffee & Tea Collective.
Old Harbor Distilling Co. should have bottles in bars and on local store shelves by the end of the year; scheduled tours and a tasting room may follow.