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Manzanita Branches Out Into Craft Distilling World

Photos: Candice Woo

When Manzanita Brewing Company moved from their original Santee location, which is now home to Butcher's Brewing, to another location nearby, they had some big plans for the 12,000-square-foot space: to expand their tasting room, install a new 30 barrel brewhouse for production of their six year round beers and special releases, and build out a distillery, a passion project for company president Jeff Trevaskis.

Now, the 3,000-square-foot distillery is gearing up to introduce its first small-batch spirits to the market. By September, Manzanita Distilling Company will launch their SoCal Shine, a smooth cane-based "moonshine" that head distiller Jake Pitman says is somewhere between a vodka and a rum.

Pitman, whose brother Garry is Manzanita's co-founder and former brewmaster, has been busy on their 1,000 gallon custom-built copper still; next summer should see a flurry of releases from the distillery. A rye will be the first of their five planned whiskeys to debut; also in the works, a potato vodka, all natural orange vodka and an oak aged version, plus white and barrel-aged rum.

Trevaskis, who likened the potential for the current craft spirits culture to boom like the craft beer industry, is himself perfecting a few varieties of limoncello, all at different proofs.
· Manzanita Distilling Company [Facebook]
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Manzanita Distilling Company

10151 Prospect Avenue Santee, California 92071