Gal About Town: JJPfister Distilling Co

As I mentioned previously, I’ve become a Yelp Elite for Sacramento. This means I have access to special events, grand openings and behind the scenes tours of local businesses. Right up my alley, huh?

Since my blogging is taking more of a shorter form these days, I’ll be repurposing my Yelp posts here as part of my Gal About Town series. I’m kicking things off with an amazing, unsung, off the beaten path distillery I toured around the holidays.

Yelp Elites were SEW SPIRITED to celebrate the holidays at JJPfister Distilling Company.


Combining a distillation tap and a sewing machine, J. J. Pfister continues the family legacy.

JJPfister is a Sacramento area craft,  organic distillery run by Brian Keck. Sacramento’s newest distillery is named after Keck’s great, great grandfather who build an award winning knitting factory in San Francisco known for high quality knitwear with excellent standards of quality. Brian is keeping the family tradition with high quality, organic, small batch spirits.

In a 16,000 sq ft facility off of Bradshaw,  JJ Pfister distills craft bourbon,  rum, vodka, gin, red and white whiskey in American oak charred barrels.

The distillery and tasting room features a family history museum with various vintage swim costumes and sports uniforms. Just follow the flags!

bathing suits better

The tasting room features a mini museum of the athletic costumes previously produced by the family in its Oakland, CA sewing factory.

Production focuses on vodka and gin, and Raley’s (a local grocery chain) plans to carry the gin soon.

During a tour held at a Yelp event,  I learned more about distillation than I ever could have dreamed from Chris, our tour guide.

JJ Pfister uses a continuous distillation process, as well as a hot still depending on the spirit, to remove solids and water from the potato mash or blend of organic ingredients per spirit.


Distillation columns look like steam punk instruments! Instruments of craft libations!

Other fun facts I learned on the tour:

Vodka has to distill to at least 190 proof and it takes a LOT of potatoes to make good vodka.

The best/highest quality parts of distillation is called the hearts… the last part is called the tails, and they tends to have oily,  sulfury flavors.

In between the tours for Yelp Elites, we noshed on shrimp cocktail, panchetta wrapped asparagus, spicy meatballs, chicken wings and more from Evans Catering. To keep the mood festive, we enjoyed the seasonal musical stylings of Ruby Jaye. She was perfect for the room and the mood. She’d be a great addition to corporate dinners or cocktail parties.

And of course, JJPfister offered two craft cocktails to keep the party buzzing, one featuring their vodka and another their gin. More than one Elite (including me) came home with bottles to keep and share.

So,  if you like craft spirits,  local family- run companies and learning new things,  come to JJ Pfister.
9819 Business Park Dr, Sacramento, CA 95827

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