The second distillery to open up in the city of Los Angeles was YSA (Young State America) Distillery, producing the award-winning Loft & Bear vodka in, you guessed it, an Arts District loft. Founder Paul Ryan Elliott, one of the youngest distillers in the country at 31, says they were inspired by Greenbar, their neighbor down the road. “I’d say arguably that they paved the way for us newcomers,” Elliott says. “They were the first in what’s proven for us at Loft & Bear to be a great local market with fierce local brand loyalties.” YSA continues to operate out of the Arts District, but is currently working to expand to nearby Huntington Park, where they have plans to build a much larger distillery and a tasting room.
Another new neighbor of Greenbar in the Arts District is The Spirit Guild, which opened their distillery and tasting room early this summer on Mateo St. Launched by Miller Duvall and Morgan McLachlan, yet another husband and wife distilling duo, The Spirit Guild distills their two current offerings, Vapid vodka and Astral Pacific gin, from clementines grown on Miller’s sixth-generation family farm roughly 100 miles away near the Kern River. Morgan explains that they were going through similar challenges of going through the permitting process as Greenbar around the same time. “There wasn’t much of a precedent for opening a distillery with the city, so it made things a little difficult getting through permitting, and explaining to the city the intent of what we were doing,” she says.