Despite a “miracle March,” as we all know, California is still in the midst of a severe drought. For San Francisco-based Hangar 1 vodka, this presented an opportunity to think outside of the box—and sustainably. When looking to the sky for answers it became evident that there was a resource not being used: fog. Partnering with Bay Area non-profit Fog Quest (a conservation organization), Hangar 1 has been able to collect their own fog water and it now composes 60% of their exceptional limited edition release Fog Point. The remaining 40% is grape-based distillate but within this crisp, clean vodka, is the first ever use of fog in a spirit. Even more important, there’s a charitable element at play.
As many are aware, vodka is not an odorless and flavorless spirit, despite the fact that it purports to be. There is tremendous variation and there are two factors when it comes to everything from minerality to mouthfeel: the distillate, and the water added to reduce to proof. The water here has been captured with a series of fog catchers, developed and built by Chris Fogliatti at Fog Quest, composed of precision-engineered mesh canvas. When stretched across a frame and left in foggy areas, it actually pulls moisture from the air and collects them in beads and ultimately into basins. This has no negative environmental impact.
As for the distillate, its source also happens to be environmentally-friendly. Hangar 1 produces their vodka from grapes—or in this instance, premium wines drawn from the Bonny Doon biodynamic vineyard in Davenport, CA. Bonny Doon is also committed to a fully sustainable winemaking process. It’s important to note that with these two components—water and wine distillate—Hangar 1 has actually produced a good tasting, sipping vodka. It’s crisp and light with vanilla dominating on the nose but partnering with citrus on the tongue.
Hangar 1’s Head Distiller Caley Shoemaker feels quite passionately about the project. “We are proud of our home in California and our community,” she explains to CH. “Agriculture is the most inspiring thing to me. Being able to work with these organizations and make something that is sustainable was really important to us.” After researching with her team, Shoemaker discovered Fog Quest and was taken by the fact that one of their initiatives in Chile captured 7,000 liters of water a day from fog—sustaining an entire village. Part of Shoemaker’s vision for this product is also to shed light on the technology. “It is out there and it can be scaled up. In selling this vodka and returning all profits back to water conservation efforts, we are hoping to bring further awareness to biodynamic farming, sustainable practices and other ways to look at water for agricultural or residential use,” she concludes.
You can purchase Hangar 1 Fog Point online for $125, while supplies last. All profits will be donated to the expansion of sustainable water applications.
Images courtesy of Hangar 1