It’s clear that San Diego has a way with craft beverages, from beer to coffee and cocktails and a growing number of local distilleries that are poised to be contenders in the larger craft spirits scene. Joining the community is a brand new member, You & Yours Distilling Co., which will open its doors to the drinking public this Thursday, March 9 in the East Village.
Founder Laura Johnson is one of just a handful of female head distillers in the country; an alum of the University of San Diego, she traveled the U.S. while training as a distiller and running Distillerista, a spirits-centric blog. Together with partner and co-founder Luke Mahoney, You & Yours’ CMO and a vet of the local restaurant industry, Johnson has created a hospitality-focused space in which to showcase her spirits.
Encompassing a 2,300-square-foot corner at 15th and G Streets that anchors the mixed-use Form 15 building; the warm and welcoming space is styled like a fashionable living room, albeit one with a 15-seat bar. Open from 4 to 10 p.m. Thursday and Friday and from noon to 10 p.m., You & Yours Distilling Co. will be offering tastes of its two flagship bottlings, You & Yours Vodka and Sunday Gin, which Johnson describes as a “gateway” American-style gin that’s citrus-forward with notes of fresh florals and herbs. A Navy strength version of the gin might also be sampled, along with the single-source distillates (corn, potato and grape) that make up the vodka blend. Johnson’s custom-designed hybrid still will enable her to produce the neutral spirits that will provide the base for future products and also craft seasonal eau de vies and brandies. In the pipeline are an aged gin and Italian-styled aperitifs including vermouth and a Campari-like liqueur.
But for now, a craft cocktail list should convince you to stay a while. Refreshed twice every season, the current menu includes Spanish-style, impressively-garnished premium gin and tonics. And soon, the distillery will launch weekend tours, a 45-minute experience which includes distiller-led education and tastings.