UPDATE on May 14, 2023: Jason Mills at Savage and Cooke, who we all met at our Meet-up there, asked us to pass along that they have begun featuring entertainment on Thursday eveninds. This Thursday, May 18 from 4-7 pm they will feature the “contemportary jazz groove” of Mr. Quiet Trio. No cover and no RSVP necessary.
UPDATE on May 9, 2023: Savage and Cooke is offering entertainment on Thursday evenings starting May 11 with a stand-up comedy show. Details and tickets are at https://www.eventbrite.com/e/last-call-comedy-at-savage-and-cooke-tickets-623286585957
Everything I know (so far) about whiskey I learned at Savage and Cooke Distillery on Mare Island, just across the water from downtown Vallejo. I first discovered the distillery when my son, who works at a Napa winery, told me of Dave Phinney‘s newest venture after he took their tour and tasting. My son knew of Dave as the guy who created “The Prisoner” zinfandel wine brand and sold it for millions to a conglomerate and then created Orin Swift Cellar’s “Eight Years in the Desert” wine that references his eight year non-compete agreement. But I digress.
My wife and I took the distillery tour and we were impressed with the small batch distilling happening with great care in a space ideal for hosting weddings and corporate events that respected the island’s rich shipyard history. A tour highlight was the artillery storage room with large metal sliding doors converted into the most unique boardroom meeting space. After the tour, we tasted and learned the international rules that apply to naming whiskey, bourbon, and rye. During the pandemic, we returned to purchase bottles of local liquor as well as “house made” hand sanitizer. Last year, we brought out-of-town guests for a whiskey tasting, and then returned during the holidays for an intimate-but-a-little-raucous Bad Sweater party in their lounge with a New Orleans-inspired menu of delicious, crunchy fried chicken, soulful sides, specialty cocktails (like the Black-hattan), and dancing to a DJ.
I guess by now you get that we adore the space, the people, and the product. But don’t take my word for it. Come join several of your Hiddenbrooke neighbors for a meet-up at the Savage and Cooke Distillery lounge, 1097 Nimitz Avenue on Mare Island, on Thursday, April 20, 2023 from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m. No reservations are needed. Children are welcome, but pets are not (except service animals). You will be on your own to buy from the menu (see at www.savageandcooke.com/the-restaurant/) with an “off menu” specialty drink offer and 20% discount on bottle sales just for Hiddenbrooke neighbors. If you can’t make it on April 20, then get there sometime soon on your own. When driving there, the GPS directions can be confusing. Make sure you turn on Nimitz, not Railroad.
Learn more about Savage and Cooke at www.savageandcooke.com/ and its relationship to other Mare Island establishments at www.wetmile.com.
UPDATE on April 21, 2023: You shoulda been there! Great turnout of 25 people at the Hiddenbrooke Neighbor Meetup @ Savage & Cooke Distillery on April 20. Delicious food, potent cocktails, historic setting, engaging conversation, and free gift bags! If you didn’t make it there, grab a carful of neighbors and go on your own. Several of your neighbors spoke of revisiting this place on a regular basis.
Aside from Dave Phinney being a legend in the winemaking community, this distillery is cool for another reason too: it produces Scottie Pippen’s (former Chicago Bull) bourbon! If you’re into bourbon, I highly recommend trying their Guero 7 year or 17 year. Both are excellent. I hope to join this outing!