While the San Francisco Bay area averages 73 rainy days per year it averages 108 foggy days per year. Though the California drought has eased somewhat, water supplies across the state are still below average. The ongoing need to find alternative water sources is still top of mind for everyone in the area.
One Alameda, CA distillery that sits along the San Francisco Bay has taken matters into their own hands. Rather than doing a rain dance or hoping El Niño may end the drought Head Distiller Caley Shoemaker at Hangar 1 Vodka has another idea. What if we capture the fog and extract the water? That’s right extract the water from the plentiful fog. What better way to capture the essence of San Francisco than to capture the fog!
Hangar 1 Head Distiller Caley Shoemaker
Hangar 1 Vodka is working with FogQuest, a non-profit charity dedicated to planning and implementing sustainable water projects for rural communities around the world to extract the water droplets from fog to gather water. Together, Hangar 1 Vodka and Fogquest have strategically positioned man made ‘fog collectors’ throughout San Francisco, including at Sutro Tower to capture and harness the power of the Bay Ares’s hydrating haze and repurpose it.
Miniscule Fog Water Particles are Captured in the Mesh
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Hanger 1 Vodka is using the water to launch Hangar 1 Fog Point™, the first ever spirit to be made with San Franciscan fog-caught water. In the face of the California drought, and given fresh water is the most precious ingredient in vodka (over 60% of it), Hangar 1 Vodka has launched Hangar 1 Fog Point to build awareness of this innovative, sustainable, alternative water source, with exciting future applications in the Bay Area and farther afield.
Many consider fog to be a scourge of San Francisco, its extraordinary beauty overlooked by mundane problems: plane delays, bridge advisories, and a general lack of visibility. Yet where others see issue – or can’t see at all – Hangar 1 sees an innovative solution in Mother Earth’s cloudy quilt, and a means to raise awareness around an alternative water source for California’s host of local farms, wineries, and distilleries.
1st Fog to Bottle Craft Spirit
Hangar 1 Fog Point is the first ‘fog to bottle*’ vodka. It begins high above the Pacific Ocean, where miniscule water particles coalesce in clouds of vapor, before skimming across the San Francisco Bay and directly into the grasp of a fog catcher. The particles gather along the catcher’s netting, collecting into droplets of water that gravity pulls into a liquid pool at the base of structure. Hangar 1 takes this sustainably sourced water – purer than that from bottled and tap – and blends it with the vodka’s distillate, cutting it to provide proper proof and unique taste. The result is mankind’s first ever fog-based vodka.
The vodka is created with another North California partner, Bonny Doon, whose biodynamic wine is used to create the vodka distillate. Equally committed to environmentally friendly agriculture, Bonny Doon utilizes a fully sustainable winemaking process that ensures its wines – and in turn, Hangar 1 Fog Point Vodka – offer maximum quality with minimal human footprint. They say the result is a wonderfully fresh and gluten free sipping vodka with a remarkably unique flavor profile: a round and floral nose with vanilla, cream and honey suckle, a velvety mouthfeel with tasting notes of vanilla, citrus, and pear, and a finish of warm floral and pepper. The bottle itself reflects the project’s innovative technology, with a netted neck wrap and a cartographic back label charting the locations of each San Francisco-based fog catcher.
Location of Bay Area Fog Catchers
“Hangar 1 Fog Point is the first of many Hangar 1 initiatives designed to return favor to our foggy home in Alameda – a home which makes our pioneering distillation approach and our dedication to local agriculture and fresh ingredients possible,” says Head Distiller Caley Shoemaker. “At our distillery, we take a fresh approach to vodka. Our quest is to continue to discover cutting-edge innovations, working with our local partners in the Bay Area to inspire new vodkas made of California.”
“Fog presents a unique solution to one of California and the world’s most pressing problems,” says FogQuest’s San Francisco volunteer Chris Fogliatti. “In partnering with Hangar 1, FogQuest is aiming to raise awareness around alternative, sustainable water sources.”
$125 Per Bottle of Hangar 1 Fog Point Vodka
All profits from Hangar 1 Fog Point will be donated to the expansion of sustainable water applications, including installation of more fog catchers around the Bay Area. Hangar 1 Fog Point will be available for purchase for $125 at the Hangar 1 Distillery in Alameda, online at HangarOne.com, and served at select local bars and restaurants.
How Do You Capture Water from Fog?
Hangar 1 Fog Point Vodka
* Proximo Spirits, Inc. applied for a trademark on ‘Fog to Bottle’ on February 29, 2016.