How do you make a soul taste?
Scott Major and Kurtis founded Birdview Distillery with that goal.
Out this came their flagship brandy, El Castor of. And apparently the taste of California is a lot like pear: El Castor, made from the fruit native to the Americas, has a bite to it but nearly tropical fruit notes.
“My theory is that a spirit should fit the aesthetic of a plant,” Kurtis said. “Beavertail cactus possess spines and sharpness, but their fruit has a sweet flavor. We desired the earthy, succulent green cactus qualities of tequila, with a softer fruity element.”
The brothers grew up in Malibu.
Not film stars’ city — their grandparents homesteaded a farm Point Dume with chickens and fruit trees. The grandparents had planted a hedge of Beavertail cactus — the plant which sprouts pear — to keep coyotes from drifting off from arriving on the property and also the boys. The cacti became a background for the brothers’ lives, but they seldom thought about them.
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Then Scott and Kurtis returned to their grandparents’ farm to turn the household raspberries and loquats . Using a tub along with the kitchen stove, these distillers started by making wine. Kurtis clarified, “We had a good deal of loquats, so we began with those. But we had been talking about what fruit is uniquely California. Like the agave to Tequila, Mexico. We looked outside in the prickly pears climbing on the Beavertail cactus, and recognized at the exact same moment, ‘That is the one.”
The wine wasn’t impressive, so they decided to distill the prickly pear wine and earn brandy together with it. This had never been done before, so that they had to make the chopping, harvesting, filtration and pressing equipment themselves. Kurtis creates jewelry and furniture, and Scott is a fabricator and works with stone. The two set out to build their distillery. “It looks like something from Willy Wonka,” Kurtis explained. “The parts are disparate, but it works harmoniously.”
They did purchase the. “When we realized this brandy was a good product, we investigated the best still to distill it with,” Scott stated. “We bought an alembic still from Hoga Company. They pound their copper out . The Alembic fashion of distilling is 2,000 years old. We felt that it best captured the taste of the prickly pear”
Initially they foraged fruit from their family’s property, then from neighbors’ land, even planting more and sharecropping. This past year they contracted a farmer to grow it for them, and they hope to double production by next year.
“These crops are so low impact,” Curtis explained. “They do not need much water and require virtually no maintenance. Bugs don’t like them but birds do. It’s good to give back.”
El Castor Claro Sells for about $55.00 a Jar.
Their Reposado and Anejo are still aging in charred oak barrels and also have not been released, but they expect people will cost $59.00. El Castor is available at a few stores and a handful of bars in California.
The Duck Dive Gastropub at Malibu conveys it, and manager Nick Daniels recommends that people try it neat initially. “It is so unique, and so nicely,” he explained. “I encourage people to test it directly to get an notion of exactly what it is. But it combines great with citrus like blood orange and lime.”
And tastes Such as the West.
Ozy.com is a USA TODAY content partner providing general information, commentary and coverage from around the internet. Its content is produced of USA TODAY.
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