About Hotaling & Co.
A Craft Beer Pioneer Sets His Sights On Spirits
The original Anchor Distilling Company was established in 1993 by Fritz Maytag, the same beverage visionary who sparked the craft beer movement with his purchase of Anchor Brewing in 1965. Maytag had rescued the struggling brewery and its iconic steam beer, and after several decades of exclusively producing beer, Maytag saw an opportunity to expand into the distillation of spirits.
The Return Of Pot-Distilled Whiskey To The United States
Fritz’s vision of a rye whiskey revival was fueled by the bold realization that there were no pot-distilled whiskeys being made legally in America at the time. Finding inspiration in the rye whiskeys of America’s past and the great single malt whiskies of Scotland, Fritz gathered a small team to begin top secret research and experimentation in the distillery. The first whiskey went into barrel in 1994, and the distillery soon began producing three rye whiskeys under Fritz’s guidance, all pot-distilled spirit from a mash of 100% malted rye. Over time, the range of spirits expanded into other categories, with the addition of Junípero Gin and Genevieve genever. The creation of Junípero was particularly significant, as it effectively started the movement towards high-end craft gin in the United States.
An Independent Distiller Transforms Into A Portfolio Of Global Craft Spirits
In 2010, Fritz Maytag retired and sold Anchor Distilling Company to a business partnership that included Tony Foglio and London's oldest wine and spirit merchant, Berry Bros. & Rudd. With the sale, Anchor Distilling Company expanded beyond production on Potrero Hill to incorporate importing a collection of super-premium craft spirits from around the world.
A New Chapter As Hotaling & Co.
In 2017, Anchor Brewing Company was sold, and although Anchor Distilling Company was not part of the sale, it relinquished the rights to use the “Anchor” trademark. In early 2018, the new name of “Hotaling & Co.” was announced, a reference to one of Anchor Distilling’s most beloved small batch whiskies and to the San Francisco legend A.P. Hotaling, who came out West during the Gold Rush and quickly became one of the most reputable spirits dealers in the country.
Born in 1828, Hotaling moved from New York to California in 1852, where he found his calling in San Francisco as a purveyor of fine whiskies and proceeded to build the largest liquor wholesaler in the West. In San Francisco drinks culture, Hotaling’s name became immortalized when his whiskey warehouse on Jackson Street survived the 1906 San Francisco earthquake and fire. Today, the Hotaling name remains a part of San Francisco drinking culture as the distillery celebrates 26 years of production, a proud tradition that will continue into the future alongside the other core pillars: importing and consumer education.