Not a Bay Area native? Then you probably won’t know who Karl is. You’d be even more confused if I were to tell you that now you can literally taste Karl, in liquor form. Karl, ladies and gentlemen, is San Francisco’s lovely fog.
Bay Area-based Hangar 1 distillery has managed to take vodka in a direction the world hasn’t seen before ― its team has produced a limited-edition batch of vodka that is made of San Francisco fog (Karl).
Each bottle of this unique spirit, called Fog Point, will cost a pricey $125. According to Time, head distiller Caley Shoemaker’s impetus behind this one-of-a-kind libation was to “create something that embodies values the Bay Area worships: sustainability and local production. She also wanted to make something that nods to the drought that has starved the state for several years running.”
Shoemaker says, “We really wanted to come up with some sort of sustainable water.” Once her team found FogQuest, a non-profit that utilizes “innovative fog collectors as well as effective rainfall collectors to make optimum use of natural atmospheric sources of water,” Shoemaker was able to turn their idea into a reality.
Over the course of six months, using fog catchers at four locations in the Bay Area, including San Francisco’s famed Sutro Tower, Hangar 1 managed to collect enough fog water to make 2,400 bottles. For those that have never heard of fog collectors, they are described as sheets of mesh that become water-logged as a result of the passing fog and, eventually, drops of water begin to collect in troughs.
Partnering with a biodynamic vineyard, Bonny Doon, this fog spirit is distilled from the grape wine, 2012 Le Cigar Blanc. Shoemaker says of the final product that it’s “made of California because truly, you’re tasting the Bay;” moreover, “You’re tasting the soil and the grapes and all of that comes together really well in this interesting little project we’ve done here.”
Hangar 1 is donating 100 percent of profits from this fog transformation back to water conservation. With only 2,400 bottles in existence, vodka connoisseurs will not want to miss out on this limited-edition offering from the City by the Bay.