Liquor lab

For Hangar One's chief distiller, drinking on the job is part of the gig.

By Caren Alpert, Business 2.0 Magazine

(Business 2.0 Magazine) -- Who wouldn't want to work in Lance Winters's office? The co-owner and chief distiller at Hangar One has his own copper desktop still and uses it to invent many of the company's exotic vodka flavors, like Kaffir lime and wasabi.

His workspace looks like an old-fashioned lab, with apothecary jars, beakers, and glass bottles, all with handwritten paper tags. Winters has been concocting vodka infusions in the company's Alameda, Calif., headquarters -- a World War II-era airplane hangar -- since 2003. He takes inspiration from orange blossoms (smelled en route to the laundromat), basil (from a local restaurant), and bay leaves (encountered on a hike in the nearby Oakland hills). Then he tests his recipes on lucky co-workers.

"I have a job where I'm encouraged to drink on the clock," chuckles tasting room manager Lou Bustamante. "My friends are jealous." Top of page

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