While I've Been Resting, So has my Whiskey:
Preface: In August of last year, our incredible landlords at SF Made offered us support. We were struggling to pay the rent for our rickhouse space at 150 Hooper (the rickhouse is where we age our whiskeys). Instead of threatening a cure or quit (standard eviction notice), they offered us an olive branch. If we were able to move out by the next month they were willing to cover all of the relocation costs to move the aging spirits in our rickhouse, and to eliminate the past due rent we had incurred during COVID. I jumped at this much needed burst of life support.
Although we resumed operations at 100 Hooper for several more months, the writing was on the wall that our time in SF was soon coming to an end.
The Move: I was born and raised in San Diego. In 2012 I moved to Northern California with the plan to attend UC Davis's Master Brewers Program and to start my own company. While in preparation for the program, I founded Seven Stills with the concept of making whiskeys from different styles of craft beer. I established a niche, hit the pavement building the brand in San Francisco, and never looked back.
Last year, since I knew all of our operations were destined to close, I began my migration back to San Diego. I found a super affordable warehouse space in Vista (just outside of North County San Diego), and took SF Made up on their offer to cover moving expenses. At the same time, my family and I moved to San Diego and I began working on expanding Seven Stills into San Diego with the knowledge that SF was soon to close. Unfortunately, my approach to expanding into the new market was to look for distribution to carry our line of craft beers throughout Southern California. This was in hindsight a ridiculous proposal trying to bring a non-local beer brand into what is debatably the craft beer capital of the world. This, unfortunately left my unable to expand into So Cal, and as predicted closing up the business entirely in San Francisco.
The Change: Seven Stills was heavily rooted in San Francisco. The name pays homage to the seven hills of San Francisco. Our mission statement was to make Seven Stills the most iconic brewery and distillery in SF. Now that I have physically relocated, and have given myself nearly 10 months to reflect and unwind, I have taken the bits and pieces from Seven Stills that I think were the strongest and am using them as the framework for what's coming next.