MAKING A MARK
Verdi Local Distillery competes for coveted title.
WRITTEN BY HEIDI BETHEL
PHOTOS BY ASA GILMORE
Verdi Local Distillery is the smallest licensed distillery in the world. And its owners, Jeremy and Kate Baumann, are about to celebrate the official title when their business is recognized by Guinness World Records. In the meantime, the Baumanns will continue to make distinctive libations in their 850-square-foot space.
What started as a beer- and winemaking hobby evolved into a small-batch distillery that once was only a distant dream.
“Kate and I would always joke that we would do this as a business,” Jeremy says. “We had our eye on the perfect location, and when it became available, we just did it. Everything kind of happened at once.”
While they occasionally switch flavor profiles and types of liquor, Verdi Local Distillery always is focused on one goal: a quality product handled with care. They often have two or three types of alcohol distilling at a single time.
“We don’t age our product too long, so there isn’t a need for a lot of barrels or storage,” Jeremy explains. “We don’t have the huge stainless-steel conicals or copper stills that you see at bigger distilleries … It’s just the two of us. Everything we do is by hand. We don’t even have bottling or labeling machines.”
Some of their recent releases include lemon whiskey, apple cinnamon whiskey, and Yeti Jackalope gin aged 30 days in orange peel. In the works, they also have garlic whiskey to pair with a house-made Bloody Mary mix and black licorice whiskey, which is similar to Jägermeister but clear, with a subtle taste.
“We’re just trying to be a distillery that does stuff differently,” he says. “Beer had its boom over the past decade, and whiskey seems to be at the forefront right now. We put thought into our product and try not to go completely traditional.”
To purchase products made by Verdi Local Distillery, visit Raley’s Supermarkets, Save Mart Supermarkets, and Ben’s Fine Wine & Spirits. Connoisseurs also are invited to stop by the distillery, which is open on select days at 1155 Old Highway 40, Unit B, in Verdi. For details, visit http://www.verdilocaldistillery.com
With roots as a bartender working through her college days, Heidi Bethel enjoys learning about new and interesting infused liquors. She looks forward to creating a Bloody Mary with the garlic whiskey that’s in the works.