Much in the same way that the Bay Area has pioneered the locavore foodie culture, The Spirits Society aims to bring the same mentality to ecologically conscious drinkers who want to taste the best that California has to offer. Local craft brewing is certainly taking off in the Bay Area, yet comparatively little attention is paid to the whiskies, vodkas, rums and gins that the West Coast produces. The Spirits Society wants to change that, and drinkers of every ilk are invited to come try something new.

The Spirits Society is Impact Hub Oakland’s response to the San Francisco Hub’s counterpart, The Whiskey Society. While the Whiskey Society focuses solely on whiskey, these drinkers don’t limit themselves to one spirit. Rather, they focus on a variety of spirits, with an emphasis on local, sustainable spirits. The Spirits Society aims to help its members develop a more evolved palate as well as a more conscientious one. The inaugural meeting of the Spirits Society happened in February, with an emphasis on vodkas. In an effort to move away from corporate spirits with large carbon footprints such as Grey Goose, the group is helping to broaden drinkers’ palates to locally sourced, locally distilled brands such as Charbay.

In March, the focus was on rums. Wray & Nephew, Coruba and Appleton Estate were featured in Caribbean-inspired cocktails. The Jungle Hub cocktail was made of Coruba dark rum, pineapple juice, lime juice and Campari. A classic daiquiri dubbed “We Are One Daiquiri” had Appleton VX rum. Wray & Nephew rum was paired with Ting Jamaican grapefruit soda for the “Wray & Ting” cocktail.

The Spirits Society meets every third Thursday at 5:30 p.m. More information is available on their Facebook page. Members of the Impact Hub are invited to drink for free, and curious non-members are invited to attend for $20.

As The Spirits Society continues to grow, new and experienced drinkers will be invited to bring their questions and curiosities to the meetings. For drinkers who want to venture beyond the comfort zone of Jack & Coke or vodka-crans, The Spirits Society is an excellent place to try new things and to acquire a bartender’s level of expertise on alcohol.

One Response

  1. Danny Ronen

    This is one of the reasons Impact Hub Oakland is so successful, because it is truly a community space — they listen to their members’ ideas (in this case, bar veteran John Pomeroy) and dive in wholeheartedly. I’m not just saying this because I work in the hospitality industry and also know and like John, but because I see so many of these types of groups and can tell which are for learning and which are merely for imbibing. Thank you, Spirits Society, for being a social club based around both socializing, growing community and spirits education. –Danny Ronen

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