Surf City Still Works (SCSW), Huntington Beach’s first craft distillery, announces it closed a round of funding that yielded $2.7 million. The company is in the midst of a major growth period and is using the funds to build the second largest distillery in Southern California. SCSW also announces its new Advisory Board that will guide and support the distillery’s rapid growth.
“This is a really exciting time for Surf City Still Works,” said Chris Van Dusen, partner at Surf City Still Works. “The brand and our products are resonating throughout Southern California.”
Co-Founders Josh and Elena Kornoff, and the team at Surf City are building the new facility to meet significant demand. The money raised will be used to build a 25,000-square-foot facility at 16561 Gemini Lane in Huntington Beach, behind the existing distillery and tasting room. The building will include a new column still capable of producing higher volumes of alcohol, a bottling line for the spirits, a canning line for canned craft cocktails, and a 100-person tasting room with a full-service kitchen. The space is on track to open to the public in the fall of 2020.
“Reaching our fundraising goal during the pandemic was a clear indicator that we have something special,” said Van Dusen. “We are honored to have attracted an amazing group of investors and advisors to help guide us through this tremendous growth.”
SCSW’s Advisory Board is comprised of renowned business leaders with national and international retail experience, a passion for beach culture and a unique understanding of spirits. The Advisory Board Members include:
Bob McKnight, founder of QuiksilverAmericas, a global surf and board sport apparel and accessories company
Robbie McKnight, co-founder of Cuater, a golf and casual shoe company that is now owned by TravisMathew
Travis Brasher, co-founder and CEO of TravisMathew, a casual sport apparel company
Bart and Daniel DeClark, co-founders of Flavor Infusion International, a beverage formulation company that also manufactures specialty ingredients, including flavors and nutritional premixes, for food and beverage companies worldwide
“Surf City Still Works is a fun and exciting company to be a part of,” said McKnight. “I think I can speak for the Advisory Board when I say that we’re proud to be investing in our local community and in a product as cool as this. We will use our experience to guide the distillery to become one of the most recognizable and enjoyed brands in the space.”
To further bolster the team, SCSW has hired Ben Carpenter as Director of Sales and Customer Experience and Bill Auxier as Head Distiller. Carpenter is an award-winning spirits specialist with more than 15 years of professional experience in the hotel, bar and brand management industry. He was most recently the Beverage Director for the Balboa Bay Resort in Newport Beach, Calif. In his new role, he will be responsible for all product sales, from spirits to canned craft cocktails, in coordination with SCSW’s distributor Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits. Carpenter will also use his mixology expertise to develop a unique tasting room experience and seasonal cocktail selections once the new space is opened.
Auxier comes to SCSW with more than a decade of brewing and distilling experience, including a background of building distilleries from inception. He was previously the Production Manager and Distiller at Greenbar Distillery in Los Angeles where he lead production of more than 30 different products. In his role at SCSW, he will lead the distilling process using a new column still that is capable of producing 8 gallons per minute, an improvement from the 5 gallons per hour in the existing still. The column still can run continuously without the need to stop and start between batches, and allows the distiller to create a cleaner, more pure product.
“We’re really close to seeing all of our hard work come to fruition,” said Van Dusen. “We can’t wait to share it with the local community.”
Surf City Still Works is an independent craft distillery founded by Josh and Elena Kornoff in 2017 and a small team of locals with a clear purpose in mind: to bring craft distilling to Huntington Beach, celebrate the art of mixology and support local artists. SCSW uses quality ingredients and traditional methods to evoke the diverse and contagious spirit of Surf City. Surf City Still Works also offers a line of canned cocktails, all coming in at about 20 proof which makes them perfect for sipping pool side no matter what the weather.