Hidden high in the mountains of Northeastern Humboldt County, California lies our unique distillery operated by myself (Jeff St John) and my wife Marisa. Established in 2013, Dutch & Dewey Distillery is located at an elevation of 3,000 feet with spectacular views of Upper Redwood Creek with surrounding fir and oak forests.We live and work off the grid in a home we built ourselves and strive to maintain a natural, sustainable, and carbon-neutral lifestyle.
We are devoted to the production of small batch and hand-made spirits using the distillation equipment designed and built by me. Our distillery is sustainably run and is off-grid and hydro- and solar-powered. The spirits are made with locally grown or made products (when possible), including captured rainwater from our property.
In 2017 we had three projects:
1. Built a grain masher by repurposing a dairy milk vat and custom making a steam boiler that is fueled by firs from our oak reclamation projects
2. Produced our first corn, malted barley, and rye bourbon from California and local grains. This batch will age in oak barrels for a minimum of five years.
3. Planted a half-acre field of rye from local seed .The grain is awaiting processing before it will become our rye whiskey.
The man you see on our label and in the banner of this website is my grandfather James Coburn who farmed in Western Pennsylvania in the early 1900s. You see him here with his two farm horses Dutch and Dewey who were plowing the field at his farm in New Brighton.
Sustainability in that era was not a fad; it was the only way to live. He grew his own crops; raised pigs, chickens, turkeys, and cows; and recycled animal and plant products to feed the fields. Nothing went to waste. I carry on that commitment to the land by using the spent grains and grapes and processed liquids to fertilize the vineyard and the coffee grounds to deter underground critters from eating the plants in our garden..
Making wine for our Rocky's Ridge Vineyard label, especially ports made with high-proof brandy, led me to distilling. My material science education and background, strong understanding of chemistry and process, as well as welding experience have been instrumental in building the distillery with our own resources.