Since 2013, Ian Cutler has operated Cutler’s Artisan Spirits out of his small distillery at 137 Anacapa St. Suite D in Santa Barbara. Now, Cutler plans to expand his warehouse to increase production and open a tasting room. His second storefront at 418 N. Salsipuedes St. is slated to open this Summer.
“I suppose liquor is just in the blood,” said Cutler, heir to his great-grandfather Duke’s distillery, “I have always been interested in crafting things, especially craft beverages.”
Duke Cutler started his distillery in either 1915 or 1916, in Angels Camp, California, to serve the local gold miners. When the gold dried up, he moved to Oakdale, where his business survived the Prohibition era and two world wars, but folded in 1985 to California’s Fair Trade Laws that favored mega-retailers. At the time, Cutler’s was revered as some of the highest quality liquor in the region. Following in his previous three generations’ footsteps, Cutler opened the Santa Barbara distillery in 2013.
Cutler’s liquors have always focused on high-quality local ingredients, and Cutler has devised a variety of flavors and spirits, such as apple pie whiskey, since the inception of his business.
“Not knowing how to bake to save my life, I borrowed my Grandma Tommie’s recipe for apple pie and based the flavors and proportions on her recipe, which is why I named it Grandma Tommie’s Apple Pie,” Cutler told What Now Los Angeles. “My aim was to make it taste like the fresh-baked pies she used to make.”
Apple pie won’t be the only thing on the tasting menu — Cutler’s will soon offer gin, a cold-brew coffee liqueur, a white rum imported from Puerto Rico and a gluten-free vodka.