â€œMade in San Diego. By Hand. In Small Batches.â€
Thatâ€™s how Malahat Spirits introduces its brand, on its website, and the story behind that brand is inspiring.
In 2012, three friends set out to create a brand that reflected their personalities, their character, and their integrity.
â€œWe poured our hearts and souls into it,â€ said Antonio Grillo, one of the co-founders of Malahat Spirits, a San Diego distillery that they started from scratchâ€”with no experience in distilling.
What they lacked in experience, they made up for in management chops and the ability to learn. The partners, who have backgrounds in finance and operations, quickly earned a gold medal from one of the first batches they released. A spiced rum took the gold in the 2014 San Francisco World Spirits Competition.
Two copper pot stills, custom-designed for the distillersâ€™ San Diego facility, are central to Malahatâ€™s success launching with rum and whiskey. The company was named after the five masted schooner that delivered spirits to rum runners along the West Coast during Prohibition.
Grillo and his partners are so â€œhands-onâ€ about the production of their spirits that they personally sign every label in their batches of 800 to 1,200 bottles. With their emphasis on â€œcustom,â€ the labels produced from Labeltronix feature many special touchesâ€”from embossing, to UV spot varnishingâ€”on the very special Arctic Shield Bright White Felt material.
Grillo says the friends who launched Malahat are â€œvery fortunateâ€ that their distributor loved the product, and the packaging. Starting in 10 Western States, with four products, Malahat Spirits are definitely â€œlaunched.â€ We know the old Malahatâ€™s crew, and the rum runners they served, would be impressed.