The Blinking Owl is the very first craft distillery in Orange County. We also are one of the first distilleries in the state of California to hold the Type 74 Craft Distillers License allowing us to operate our tasting room and sell a few bottles. We make Vodka, Gin, several types of Whiskey, and the Scandinavian spirit, Aquavit.
SPIRIT behind the Owl…
We are locovores, grain nerds, and control freaks so we decided to actually make our booze the long way: from grain rather than pre-made spirit. We mill it, mash it, ferment it, distill it, and, in
the case of whiskey, barrel age it. We also use locally grown Valencia oranges for our orange vodka, and feature hibiscus, the flower of our city of Santa Ana, in our aquavit and gin.
Founding GREAT Grandfather:
The Founder, Brian Christenson, had a bootlegging great-grandfather, Fred P. Armbrust. Fred had a still on his dairy farm hidden in the basement behind secret passageways. He would covertly provide his local farmers with his “good spirits”. Brian’s dream is to carry on Fred’s passion by providing “good spirits” to our very own neighborhood, legally, of course!
The BLINKING OWL REBIRTH
Brian and Robin Christenson, longtime Santa Ana residents, had heard stories of the
midcentury “Blinking Owl Bar” on the corner of Birch and Third Streets, known for an iconic owl sign that would “blink”. Inspired by the craft cocktail movement, the farm-to-table food movement, and current thriving craft distilleries, the husband and wife team saw an opportunity
to bring a local distillery to the neighborhood, paying homage to the history of Santa Ana.