About Hophead Hop Vodka
Tucked away in a warehouse near Potrero Hill in San Francisco, Anchor Brewing and Distilling Co. has been handcrafting alcohol for nearly 150 years. Its history can be traced back to 1849, when German brewer Gottlieb Brekle arrived in San Francisco with his family during the California Gold Rush. In 1871, after finding no gold, Brekle purchased a saloon on Pacific Street near Russian Hill for $3,500 and transformed it into Anchor Brewery. Nearly 125 years later, under the aegis of Fritz Maytag — a pioneer of the American craft distilling movement — Anchor Brewery began distilling spirits, giving birth to Anchor Distilling.
After Maytag retired in 2010, David King joined Anchor Distilling and noticed the scent of hops that permeated his new office. Hops are the buds of a climbing vine and are traditionally used in beer as a bittering agent and preservative. Some styles of beer, such as IPAs, use a wide variety of hops while other types, such as stouts, tend to use fewer hops. Similar to other vines, hops have a heady scent that can express itself as grapefruit, oak, or pine, depending on the variety used.
After testing a variety of hops used at Anchor Brewing (located on the floor above Anchor Distilling), King, together with Mark Carpenter, Anchor's brewmaster, and Bruce Joseph, Anchor's master distiller, settled on two varieties of dried hops in order to produce Hophead Hop Vodka.
Distilled through small, copper pot stills, Hophead Hop Vodka has a sublime flavor reminiscent of stout beer. The hops — sourced from Washington's Yakima Valley — impart a clean, assertive character to the vodka, without the bitterness typically associated with hops.
Hophead Hop Vodka is the world's first hopped vodka.
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Historians are not clear on the exact origin of vodka since different sources link its beginning to both Russia and Poland. But one thing is clear: this somewhat simple spirit, first used as a medicinal concoction, has become one of the most versatile drinks in the world.
It can be distilled from any type of grains, potatoes, or even grapes worldwide. Due to its simplicity, this unaged spirit's main flavor factor is the quality of water and the ingredients used in the distillation process.
Primarily used in cocktails, vodka can also stand its ground when enjoyed neat.
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