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Oakhurst is home to one of the ‘best distilleries’ in California, says travel website

The exterior of Oakhurst Spirits on the afternoon of July 23. The distillery was recognized by TravelPulse as one of the “25 Top Distilleries to Try in California” in an article last week. Michael Benbrook, co-owner of the distillery with his wife, said, “To be mentioned in the same article as a lot of these outstanding distilleries is really a great honor.”
The exterior of Oakhurst Spirits on the afternoon of July 23. The distillery was recognized by TravelPulse as one of the “25 Top Distilleries to Try in California” in an article last week. Michael Benbrook, co-owner of the distillery with his wife, said, “To be mentioned in the same article as a lot of these outstanding distilleries is really a great honor.” wramirez@sierrastar.com

After only a year in business, Oakhurst Spirits is already being recognized as one of the best distilleries in California.

TravelPulse placed Oakhurst Spirits on its “25 Top Distilleries to Try in California” that the website published on Wednesday. The list did not place the distilleries in any particular order. Oakhurst Spirits distills everything from brandy, vodka, whiskey and more.

Michael Benbrook, who co-owns Oakhurst Spirits with his wife, said he and his wife made a hobby out of visiting distilleries across California and decided to start one themselves as a “retirement gig.” The couple had actually visited a number of the distilleries on the list.

“To be mentioned in the same article as a lot of these outstanding distilleries is really a great honor. Makes us go ‘Whoa, maybe we do know what we’re doing here,’” Benbrook, 59, said. Other distilleries on the list included the Greenbar Distillery in Los Angeles and Seven Stills in San Francisco.

Michael said the couple has always made it a goal to make sure the atmosphere of their location is fun and welcoming, much like the distilleries they enjoyed so much. He credits their success to their unwavering support from the community and other local businesses.

“Oakhurst Spirits offers everything from whiskey to bourbon and even limoncello, with the hopes of becoming the go-to spot for both locals and tourists coming to get a taste of area,” wrote Chelsea Davis, the author of the article. She also cited the art gallery and the distillery tour as reasons for its placing on the list.

According to its LinkedIn Page, TravelPulse “offers the latest travel industry news, videos and expert interviews.” The travel trade website was founded in 2002 and is based out of New Jersey. The website has over 77,000 followers on Twitter.

Benbrook and his wife, Ally Benbrook, have been working together for 15 years. Before Oakhurst Spirits, which opened July 2017 on Greenwood Way just off of Highway 41, they co-owned WebbShade in San Diego. The company mass-produced window shades for schools and mental health facility.

He said the distillery business has definitely created more work for him and his wife than he believed his “retirement gig” would, but most of the the work is too much fun for him to consider it work.

“It’s been a really, really fun journey here,” Michael said.

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