Charleston City Paper: Our intern takes a ride on the Hangar 1 Vodka blimp, June 17, 2011


When I moved to Charleston a week ago, there were things I expected. I expected to get lost, which I have — more than once, I’m ashamed to admit. I expected to be completely freaked out by the large roaches, or palmetto bugs as I’m told they’re called down here. What I did not expect, however, was a ride in a blimp.

Yep. That’s right. A blimp.

The blimp I was fortunate enough to ride over Folly Beach and the marshes of Charleston was the Hangar 1 Vodka blimp, which is currently touring the country promoting the liquor.

“We wanted to explain the story of our brand and introduce it to people who were unfamiliar,” says Hangar 1 Brand Manager Kensey Davis. “It’s a fun story to tell.”

Founded in 2001, Hangar 1 Vodka is a unique vodka company made by St. George Spirits in Alameda, Calif. The company’s name is derived from the place the vodka is distilled: in an actual hangar located at the old Alameda Naval Air Station. What makes Hangar 1 special, besides the locale of their distillery, is how it’s made. Using Viognier grapes and Midwestern wheat, their vodka is unlike anything I’ve ever tasted. The grapes seem to cut the harsh taste of ethanol out of the vodka and replace it a light sweetness that keeps it smooth all the way down.