Location:

How Caley Shoemaker is Changing the Game in the World of Distilling story image

How Caley Shoemaker is Changing the Game in the World of Distilling

Voiced by Amazon Polly

With a decade of experience and a penchant for creating inimitable flavor profiles, Hanger 1 Distillery’s Caley Shoemaker has proved to be a glimmering gem in the teeming spirits space. 

As the Head Distiller of Hangar 1, Shoemaker puts her golden Midas touch on an array of spirits with the inclusion of everything from fresh botanicals to actual fog. In March, the company transitioned from Hangar 1 Vodka to Hangar 1 Distillery with the release of its first non-vodka gift to the world: Bentwing Brandy. Created by an exquisite blend of French and California grape brandies, Bentwing is then finished in charred whiskey barrels. The result is a brandy that’s the perfect slow sip as a nightcap or the refreshing component of a champagne cocktail that’s just in time for summer. 

So, how did Hangar 1 snag such an innovative distiller? The background story was ten years in the making.

Shoemaker went to school for art history with plans to go to grad school to eventually pursue museum studies. However, she felt whole without continuing down the art world path and was in search of something distinctive. Her love of craft beer motivated her to work at a bar next door to the renowned Denver-based distillery Stranahan’s Whiskey. Shortly after taking a tour of Stranahan’s with a friend, she decided to take on a role with the company. “It was one of those things where when I first started with them (Stranahan’s), I always thought that it would be a fun thing that I did while I worked on the next step with my education, but I ended up totally falling in love with it,” Shoemaker states. 

Her hands-on experience at Stranahan’s – ranging from being a tour guide to taking part in the distilling process – no doubt proved to be invaluable. After being at Stranahan’s for several years, Shoemaker was offered the opportunity to take over operations at Hangar 1 and subsequently moved to California in 2014 for the position. 

“I have an interesting perspective on what we’re making and what we’re releasing. When I make something new, I always do it from the standpoint of really trying to apply a process or use some new ingredients that I find are inspirational; and then turning that into something and releasing it is how I personally like to do things,” Shoemaker explains. This fresh outlook is a contrast from many spirit brands that look to consumer shopping trends as opposed to taking imaginative risks in terms of ingredients and distilling processes.  

Never one to back down from a challenge, Shoemaker says the biggest hurdle as a head distiller is the constant learning. She states, “This is an industry that’s always growing and changing. There are so many people with different techniques, styles and perspectives. So, staying on top of all of it by learning and experiencing as much as I can so I can keep on innovating and keep what we’re doing exciting and interesting.” The balance between relevance and inventiveness is tricky in the fickle spirits industry, yet Shoemaker maintains both aforementioned qualities to the benefit of Hangar 1. 

“It’s a very lucky time to be a distiller because consumers are really openminded,” Shoemaker adds. “They want to try new things and learn. So, if I use some nontraditional ingredients or try a new technique, people are generally open to it and excited. That’s what makes it a great time to be a distiller and creative.”

Written by: Gabrielle Nicole Pharms

 

Hennessy: The Cognac of Hip Hop & Civil Rights (Part 2) story image

May 31 Civil rights

Hennessy: The Cognac of Hip Hop & Civil Rights (Part 2)

It’s safe to say we would all agree Hennessy and Hip-Hop are associated with each other in a special way. We would even go as far to say, Hennessy has reached global iconic status thanks to that fact. That being said, while the cognac of hip-hop was catapulted to its iconic stature thanks to the help of artist like Tupac and Nas, what we don’t know by looking at the surface is that Hennessy has a long standing tradition of supporting people of African decent.

Vinely Live: Michael Jordan & Fred Scherrer story image

May 04 Vinely Live Events

Vinely Live: Michael Jordan & Fred Scherrer

Sommtable Live - this Thursday May 14th, is proud to have to Michael Jordan (Master Sommelier) and Fred Scherrer (Winemaker Russian River Valley and Sonoma Coast) - the dynamic duo in both the world of wine and music. In the realm of viticulture, they’re perfect complements. Both are incredibly enthusiastic about wine, though in somewhat different ways. Jordan is a sommelier, while Scherrer is a winemaker. Together, they can create and appreciate wine at a topflight level. In addition to working in wine together, they also team up to make music. In fact, Sommtable is involved with one of their concerts. 

A Cinco de Mayo Special: Behind the Scenes of Tequila Making story image

May 03 Tequila

A Cinco de Mayo Special: Behind the Scenes of Tequila Making

Happy Cinco de Mayo! When thinking about Cinco de Mayo do you think tacos and tequila? Of course! Beyond the delicious Méxican food and Tequila do you know what the holiday represents?

Hennessy: The Cognac of Hip Hop & Civil Rights (Part 1) story image

April 19 Cognac

Hennessy: The Cognac of Hip Hop & Civil Rights (Part 1)

It’s safe to say we would all agree Hennessy and Hip-Hop are associated with each other in a special way. We would even go as far to say, Hennessy has reached global iconic status thanks to that fact. That being said, while the cognac of hip-hop was catapulted to its iconic stature thanks to the help of artist like Tupac and Nas, what we don’t know by looking at the surface is that Hennessy has a long standing tradition of supporting people of African decent.

PEOPLE ARE STRANGE: Jim Morrison story image

April 16 Music

PEOPLE ARE STRANGE: Jim Morrison

Jim was quoted in his poetic nature: “Being drunk is a good disguise.” He said. “It means I can talk to assholes.”

The First Shot Ever Served: A Tale of the West story image

July 15 shots

The First Shot Ever Served: A Tale of the West

It’s always a race against the heat in the West. Hell, there’s a score of difference races around here. There’s a race to the riches and a race to the hills where the riches lay. There’s a race to food and shelter and the means in which a man might make to get them. There’s a race to the women and to the brothels and saloons where you can find them at. I don’t look for my women in those places but I often find myself in them for other races. Mine is a race to whiskey. It’s only a matter of time before I find myself in one today.

Portugal, a Wine Lover’s Guide story image

May 26 Portuguese Wine

Portugal, a Wine Lover’s Guide

Portugal has a long history of wine making and an endless varietal of wine grapes with enough distinctive personalities to satisfy the most demanding oenophile. The different regions of this small nation that welcomes Western travelers as they head into continental Europe grow characteristically different grapes that produce singular wines, each uniquely suited to different palates.

A Mother-Daughter Tour de Force story image

May 11 Gatinara

A Mother-Daughter Tour de Force

Alessia and Cinzia Travaglini have a shared charisma in their smiles, a look that makes you want to strike up a conversation. Together, they lead the winery, Travaglini Wines, into the future. Alessia is the fourth generation to come into the family business, and is a certified sommelier. Presently, she is earning a degree in Economics and Business Management, to equip her with the skills needed to carry on the family legacy. Under the mentorship of her mother, Cinzia Travaglini, she is positioned to continue on the tradition of excellence firmly established by the winery.

x