Hangar One Takes Flight
Handcrafted Methods, New Packaging &
Vibrant Flavors Lead the Way
By w. r. tish
W
ith so many vodkas competing
for attention, points of distinc-
tion have never been more im-
portant. Hangar One Vodka
is making a multifaceted bid to stand out
from the crowd, with a unique story, brand-
new packaging and flavors that strike a bal-
ance between exotic and familiar.
The Hangar One creation process
starts with fresh fruit transported directly
from small farms via blimp—yes, Hangar
One has its own blimp!—to the distillery,
which is set in a decommissioned World
War II Naval Air Station aircraft hangar in
Alameda, CA.
True to its handcrafted mission, Han-
gar One is independent and family owned,
allowing for total control of the distilling
process. The fruit that arrives at the hangar
is distilled the very same day in a single Hol-
stein copper still, small batch by small batch,
to produce unparalleled texture and flavor.
The key to the flagship “Straight” vodka
rests both in themethodand the ingredients.
The base fruit is grapes—Viognier, to be
precise—skin, stems, seeds and all. This
grape has low acid and amazing fruit and
floral aromas; this combination takes the
harsh ethanol bite right out of the spirit
while imparting a sweet, smooth, satisfying
feel. The Viognier
eau de vie
is then
blended with spirit made from midwestern
wheat to make a perfectly balanced, fruity,
“straight” vodka.
Proof that Hangar One’s time-inten-
sive, handmade process yielded excep-
tional quality was immediate: the brand
was named vodka of the year by three
separate magazines when it was first re-
leased in 2002. The recognition set the
stage for experimentation that would yield
truly distinctive variations—vodkas of fla-
vor, not simply flavored—in addition to
the Straight.
The flavors that made the cut, ulti-
mately earning the Hangar One label,
were: Mandarin Blossom, Buddha’s Hand
Citron, Kaffir Lime and Maine Wild Blue-
berry. And now the entire line is enjoying a
fitting makeover.
Fresh New Look
Hangar One has just revealed new pack-
aging, evoking the brand’s experimental
process and handcrafted heritage. The
meticulous artisanal production methods
actually inspired Hangar One’s new look,
featuring an apothecary-style bottle with
embossed measurements along the side
and a black stopper cap, reminiscent of a
measuring beaker.
The labels are distinctively printed, giv-
ing them a crafted feel and each incorpo-
rating a small story about the flavor variety.
The labels also feature hand-drawn visuals
for each offering. Both the bottle and la-
bels were designed by Stranger & Stranger,
a leading packaging design firm based in
New York and London.
Their release late this winter across the
U.S. coincided with a new website for the
brand with a minimalist approach. The
website and the advertising were done by
creative agency The Made Shop from Den-
ver, CO.
In retrospect, it is accurate to call
Hangar One a forefather of the craft
distilling movement in the United States.
The Hangar One distillers are dedicated to
producing the very best spirits, using real
fruit and ingredients, one batch at a time.
Hangar One Vodka is 80 proof, retails for
$29.99 and is available nationally. The
hangarone.com website features more
details, including recipes.
n
brand
profile
mandarin bee
2 oz.
Hangar One Mandarin Blossom
4 Spoonfuls
of Honey
1 oz.
Fresh Lemon Juice
1 oz.
Fresh Orange Juice
Start with Hangar One Mandarin Blossom vodka.
Add honey, stir until dissolved. Add ice, lemon juice,
OJ. Shake & strain into tall glass and garnish with
orange slice.
Hangar one
recipe
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