Manufacturing Day 2020 at Santa Fe Spirits

Santa Fe Spirits is New Mexico’s largest distillery, and it has won national awards for five of the spirits it makes here in the state.

Founded by Englishman and whiskey aficionado Colin Keegan in 2010, Santa Fe Spirits uses local ingredients to create high-quality Scotch-style whiskies and Calvados-style apple brandies. Its nine products, distilled in an 11,000 square foot facility in Santa Fe, are sold in Germany, Japan, Australia, and many U.S. states. Early in 2020, at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, the company responded to emergency needs by quickly adding hand sanitizer to its product line.

How is it made? The alcohol used in beer, wine, spirits, and hand sanitizer is produced by a humble, single-celled organism called yeast. Just as a good beekeeper keeps her bees healthy to make honey, a good distiller tends her yeast. Happy yeast takes the sugars from fruits and grains and breaks them down into carbon dioxide and alcohol. This process, known as fermentation, is the first step in making alcohol. The fermented “wash” is then distilled in small artisan stills or large industrial stills, depending on the desired final product. Once distillation is complete, the liquid can be bottled immediately, mixed with other ingredients (as in the case of hand sanitizer), or aged in barrels to produce a specific flavor.

Learn more about Santa Fe Spirits during Manufacturing Month by watching the video! Interested in seeing how spirits are made? Adults age 21 and older may make a reservation to visit the distillery while adhering to COVID-19-safe practices that meet New Mexico Dept. of Health and CDC guidelines. Tours are offered Fridays by appointment only.

View the video about how this premiere New Mexico distillery began.

Santa Fe Spirits
7505 Mallard Way, Suite I
Santa Fe, NM 87507

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