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Blinking Owl, the O.C.'s first craft distillery, opens this weekend

Written by
Brittany Martin

We’re big fans of the local, small-batch and craft when it comes to our drinking. Recent openings in L.A. like Our/Los Angeles and Spirit Guild are making more options available for those who want the tipple without the carbon miles. And now Orange County is getting in on the movement with the opening of the O.C.’s very first distillery, Blinking Owl.

The LA Times reports that the Downtown Santa Ana distillery and tasting room will open to the public on Saturday, September 24. Blinking Owl is rare among California distilleries in being granted a Type 74 license which allows them to operate a tasting room and shop on the same site as the distillery, which will offer public tours.

Initially, they have three spirits on offer: Aquavit, vodka and a vodka infused with Valencia oranges grown in Orange County. In November, they will be adding a gin to the lineup, as well, and then they will be starting the aging process for their first whiskey.

When the founders launched, they were hoping to create all of their liquors entirely from California-grown ingredients, though unfortunately, they were not quite able to meet that goal in time for the opening. Many of the raw materials they did use are certified organic or otherwise sustainably farmed. The Blinking Owl team is now looking into working with growers to plant enough of the grain, juniper, botanicals and other items the distillery needs to make their next round of sprits.

Blinking Owl Distillery opens September 24 at noon. The tasting room, located at 802 E Washington Ave in Santa Ana, is open from noon to 7pm and admission is free. Tours of the facility are available for $25, to be reserved in advance.

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