— Press Release, January 2018 —
There’s a new distillery in town!
Hammer Spring Distillers, Utah’s newest distillery, will open in March 2018. Founded by local Utahns JP and Victoria Bernier, Hammer Spring Distillers is a small vodka, gin and whiskey distillery located in Salt Lake City, Utah. After nearly two years of research, hard work, and triumphs, the 100% family owned craft distillery is scheduled to appear before the Utah Dept. of Alcoholic Beverage Control (DABC) on January 30th to finalize their application. This is the last legal step in the difficult process of opening a distillery which involves obtaining many permits and authorizations at each of the City, State, and Federal levels. Among those, the most daunting is the Utah D.A.B.C. who, upon approval, will grant both a manufacturing license for Hammer Spring Distillers to create their own distilled spirits from scratch, as well as a Type-5 Package Agency license which allows Hammer Spring Distillers to sell their products directly from their storefront in Salt Lake City. Products will also be sold in select State liquor stores. Hammer Spring Distillers will also have a tasting room at the distillery where product samples will be made available. Hammer Spring Distillers, unlike many “distilleries,” doesn’t merely purchase other liquor in bulk and repackage it in their own bottles. Rather, Hammer Spring Distillers’ spirits are made entirely in Salt Lake City on their own copper column stills from fresh, locally and regionally sourced ingredients.
Hammer Spring Distillers will be the very first distillery in Utah to offer a Potato Vodka, as well as several other hand-made, craft products including several varieties of gin and eventually a straight rye whiskey. JP says, “We believe that to make the best products, you have to start with the best ingredients—so we use farm-fresh potatoes from the Utah/Idaho region. This not only supports our local and regional farmers, but it also makes the best possible vodka.”
Varieties of gin will include an American- style Distilled Gin with a carefully selected menu of herbs and botanicals. Also for sale later this year will be “Summer Bonnet Gin” which is an unsweetened, lemon flavored gin. Summer Bonnet starts with our Hammer Spring Gin and infuses freshly-peeled lemon zest, resulting in a naturally sweetened, refreshing beverage. Served over ice, this gin gives you a bright, summer’s day experience.
In addition to the 100% Utah distilled and bottled spirits, Hammer Spring Distillers will also offer “Perky Cowgirl Coffee Liqueur” which is an excellent coffee-flavored liqueur made with their own potato vodka base and locally-roasted Arabica coffee beans. Perky Cowgirl is part of an outstanding White Russian cocktail, or adds just a dash of fun into your coffee.
Also available is “JP’s World Famous Whiskey Pancake Syrup”. This is a delicious, 4 percent a.b.v. syrup which is absolutely great over pancakes, waffles or just drizzled over some vanilla ice cream! This sweet treat contains no high fructose corn syrup. The Whiskey Pancake Syrup project began nearly a decade ago at a large, annual art festival held in the Nevada desert. The Berniers showed their appreciation for their friends, and medical and first-responder volunteers by hosting a pancake breakfast each year, creating and honing the recipe for this whiskey-based syrup.
The Hammer Spring team drives hard at perfection, but also feels that a critical component to their success is volunteering at the local level. Each member of the team currently dedicates over 100 hours per year to various local non-profit organizations. Victoria is the Treasurer for the Utah Arts Alliance, Youth Futures shelter home, the Distillers Guild of Utah and a former member of the Utah Nonprofits Association board. JP is a registered Paramedic and serves as a member of the Salt Lake County Search and Rescue team where he contributes hundreds of hours each year helping adventurers stay safe in Utah’s incredible Wasatch wilderness areas.
JP & Victoria “Vita” Bernier, Hammer Spring Distillers