Introducing Dry Diggings Distillery in El Dorado Hills
Oct 08, 2015 09:31AM ● Published by David Norby
Gordon Helm and Cris Steller - Photo by Dante Fontana © Style Media Group
Dry Diggings Distillery | 5050 Robert J Mathews Parkway | Suite 850, El Dorado Hills | 916-542-1700
Describe your business. Did you find it, or did it find you?
Dry Diggings Distillery (DDD) is a craft distillery—the first in the area since prohibition ended in 1933. We make spirits (not beer!). Spirits have always been an interest, in more ways than one. No one else was doing this locally, so we decided it would be a great adventure to see where we could take it. We’ve had to overcome a mountain of regulations—local, state and federal—and even had to work to change some laws to make our business viable. Through it all, however, we have continued to endeavor (like the miners did in the 1800s) and are finally at the point where we have products going into bottles and a tasting room like no other in the area.
How are you involved with both the community and your customer?
We wanted to tie our business directly to the community and the rich history of this area—hence the name, Dry Diggings, which was both the name of Placerville before it became known as Hangtown and is also a method in which to prospect for gold. We want to share the history of the Gold Rush and the impact this had on both California and the U.S., as we feel this has been lost over the years. Our tasting room is reflective of what would be found in the 1800s, and each of our products carries a name that is tied to our community’s history in some way. We are also personally involved with multiple community organizations and events, including the local chamber of commerce, the El Dorado Hills Community Foundation, the Wagon Train End of the Trails event, and others. We look forward to being involved in even more local events as our business grows.
Where do you go when the going gets tough?
Gordon: British Columbia (and Baja, Mexico)
Cris: Baja, Mexico
What’s your favorite place to eat out locally?
Gordon: Aji Japanese Bistro
Cris: Relish Burger Bar