DAVID BRANDT, PhD

Founder

Head distiller

After a long career in biotechnology, David stepped off the beaten path to start his own distillery. His career in biotech and pharmaceuticals spanned 20 years, where he contributed to many milestones of drug research and development.  Specifically, he built the drug discovery organization at MannKind Corporation, delivering a diabetes drug to the clinic and a number of oncology candidates to development. He led a number of lead discovery programs at Proctor & Gamble Pharmaceuticals that covered a broad range of therapeutic areas including diabetes, cancer, osteoporosis, and infectious disease. He was also involved in the early pioneering days of high throughput screening, working in the area of laboratory robotics and automation at Beckman Coulter Inc. 

David received his Ph.D. from the James Graham Brown Cancer Center, University of Louisville School of Medicine. He was a Research Fellow and Associate Professor at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine and his research interests have been focused in the development of novel therapeutics and developing technologies that can improve the process of patient diagnosis, treatment, and overall care.

David's extensive experience with chemistry, technology and medicine has given him a unique perspective on the distillation process.  His insights have resulted in some of the industry's most important breakthroughs, including the accelerated aging of spirits, intense grain smoking and all-natural flavor infusion.  David's lab is located inside our Oxnard, California distillery where everyday he brings the spirit of innovation and exploration to the field of craft spirits.  

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STEVE JURAK

Founder

Distiller – Fabricator - Marketing

Steve has been working in the graphic arts field since 1983.   After attending Humboldt State, he worked as  traditional Graphic Artist, and Computer Graphic Artist/Photographer for Ad Agencies. In San Diego, Steve started working for Stratagene, Gene Therapy Systems, and Genlantis as a Marketing Director. The last 3 years at Genlantis, Steve created ozone sterilization equipment for cleaning lab equipment, EMS vehicles, and hospitals. He holds a patent for ozone creation using silver to create silver ions for sterilization.

An avid beer brewer since the 1990’s, Steve has always had interest in the craft beverage industry. His family has been making beer, wine, and spirits for over four generations. He has fabricated copper stills, equipment for roasting and smoking grains. Steve built the current still head using sheet copper and plasma welding.