ATASCADERO - The Central Coast Distillery, a new boutique distillery serving hand-crafted and small batch spirits is opening this Saturday, just in time for the Tamale Festival in Downtown Atascadero.
Eric Olson, a chef by trade, whose recent business ventures include the Allegretto Vineyard Resort in Paso Robles with his wife Anna, was putting the final touches on the Distillery tasting room through the last week. Anticipating some interest from passers-by as the doors are finally open after a year of effort, he’ll be offering visitors margaritas with honey vodka, fresh pair mojitos, and organic Gin and Tonic, along with a salsa bar during the Tamale Fest.
With a streetside view in the corner of the El Paseo center on Traffic Way, the tasting room and production facility also feature an upstairs classroom where educational courses on the industry and culinary arts are planned.
The first is focused on best practices for servers and bartenders, on Weds. Jan. 24, with Darin Biamonte, a veteran law enforcement officer bringing hands-on experience and sharing hard-won knowledge from participation in Alcohol and Beverage Control sting operations.
Olson noted the classes even before describing the fine craftsmanship of his cocktails, sayings, “we’re big believers in safety and responsible indulgence,” and adding that he’ll be paying just as much attention to serving good food.
With their product already on the wholesale market under the brand Forager, he was busy on Tuesday afternoon taking samples from the latest batch to be sent to a lab for tests.
“You know I’ve always been driven to [offer] the highest quality, as a chef... that was my passion to give the best,” he said, adding that for his newest craft he spent two years learning from distilleries in Kentucky, Utah, Tennessee, Washington, and Texas. Utah particularly he noted has a fine tradition of making agave products, although that’s not the state’s most well-known reputation.
On the centralcoastdistillery.net website, he gets more specific about a mission statement: We hold to our belief and contribute to sustainable practices starting only with natural ingredients, utilizing organics when possible. Our Central California location affords us an abundance of resources within a region of various microclimates making it easy to work in harmony with our local beekeepers, farmers, and viticulturists to source our honey, grains, and fruits. In addition, we forage the land and sea hand gathering botanical and ingredients to use in our cocktails, menus
As normal business hours commence, flight tastings of Vodka distilled from raw honey, Organic Gin, Bourbon Whiskey, and Rum aged in Bourbon Barrels will be available at their location at 5804 Traffic Way or call 805-901-6094 for information.