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Pre-Con Distillery Tour
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SMOFcon 28 - December 3-5, 2010 - San Jose, California

Pre-Con Distillery Tour

The Distillery Tour has now departed. Thank you for your interest!

SMOFcon 28 is has arranged for a tour with the artisan distillery St. George Spirits on the afternoon of Thursday, December 2nd, 2010, the day before SMOFCon 28. For those of you who sampled the fine absinthe vert we brought to Austin, it came from St. George. They are also famous for their Hanger One Vodka and many curious flavored alcohols, eau de vie, grappa and liqueurs.

We have arranged for bus transport from the hotel to the distillery, which is located in Alameda, about 40 miles north of San Jose. Tour participants should meet in the Sainte Claire hotel lobby on Thursday afternoon by 1:45 PM to catch the bus, which is scheduled to leave the hotel at 2 PM and to return to the hotel about 7 PM that evening. (Note that these are later times than originally announced.) Travel time between the hotel and the distillery is about one hour, subject to traffic delays.

After soliciting feedback from the members, we have selected the Pilots’ Lounge/Traditional Guided Tasting. The Pilots’ Lounge is in the upstairs lounge (the old ready room from the days when this was Alameda Naval Air Station), with a dedicated bartender. We get exclusive use of the Pilots’ Lounge while a “Spirit Guide” leads us through a full tasting of St. George’s brandies, vodkas, whiskey, liqueurs and Absinthe Verte while explaining what defines each spirit and the hands on distillation methods that make St. George Spirits unique. Note that this tour does not include food and that attendees are encouraged to bring food with them to complement the beverages.

Tour cost is $55 including the bus ride between San Jose and Alameda, with a maximum of twenty people allowed on the tour.

Confirmed Bookings

As of December 2, 1400 PST, the following people had confirmed bookings on the tour:

Margene S. Baum
Seth Breidbart
Richard Carson
Sandra Childress
Ray Cyrus
Marcie Hansen
Lisa Harrigan
James J. Murray
Carole Parker
Kevin Roche
Joshua Schisser
Cindy Scott
Gavin Scott
Becky Thomson
Andy Trembley

This list is not automatically updated, so it may be some time after you submit your booking before you see your name on the list. The list does not include any contingent bookings or other special arrangements.


9 Comments so far ↓

  • Jim Murray

    Well that screws everyone east of the Divide. I can’t get a flight into SJ before noon on Thursday, and that’s with leaving at 7a. I’d really like to go, but can’t afford to fly in on Wed. evening just to do this.

    Any plans for a Winchester House group outing, preferably not against the boot camp?

  • Kevin


    There aren’t a lot of alternatives, schedule-wise, for when to hold the distillery tour. (Consider what would happen if we scheduled it at any other time.) I think we did warn people when we were discussing it that it would have to be the day before the convention.

    There are no plans for an organized outing to the Winchester Mystery House. Perhaps people interested in doing one could organize it among themselves.

  • Seth

    What vile things would happen if the bus left at 1 PM and returned at 6? (OK, Jim and I, and probably a bunch of others, would be on it.)

    The first flight I can get arrives at 11:30 AM. Might it be feasible to have the bus start at the airport (e.g. at 12:30), then to the hotel (with an arrangement to check luggage quickly) and on from there?

  • Jim Murray

    I must apologize for my late-night crankiness; I have in fact been given information about a flight that arrives in San Jose at 9.30a Thursday, and will be on it. Put us down for two slots, please.

    I knew it was going to be on Thursday, I just assumed when you said afternoon start, you meant your time zone, not mine.

  • Becky Thomson

    Are we supposed to be signing up for the tour?

  • Ray Cyrus

    Has anyone gone to the Wineries (e.g. Picchetti, Byington or J.Lohr) that are less than 20 miles from San Jose? Is there interest in sharing a limo to go?

  • Kevin

    In response to the feedback received over times, we have arranged to have the tour departure moved to 2 PM, returning to the hotel about 7 PM.

  • Dave Gallaher

    Ray wrote “Has anyone gone to the Wineries (e.g. Picchetti, Byington or J.Lohr) that are less than 20 miles from San Jose? Is there interest in sharing a limo to go?”

    I would suggest the Livermore wineries if you are looking at wine tasting. There are quite a few good wineries there, and they are located primarily along Tesla Road.

  • Joshua Schisser

    Of the 3 tours listed on the linked page, I think I am most interested in the Pilots’ Lounge/Traditional Guided Tasting ($55)

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