Bourbon Business

As Craft Distilleries Boom, a Californian with Whiskey in His Blood Takes It Slow and Steady


SANTA BARBARA, CAL. – Ian Cutler’s family has history with hooch. His great-grandfather Duke Cutler moonshined in California during Prohibition. His grandfather created his own brand of blended spirits during the 1940s, and the family stayed in the spirits business for another four decades, until Ian’s boyhood in the 1980s. Fair to say: The whiskey business runs in Ian’s blood.

Last year, he took his family heritage, his own restless always-learning curiosity and a chance opportunity at a lease in a busy strip in Santa Barbara’s trendy Funk Zone and put it all on the line with a new distillery. Cutler’s Artisan Spirits makes all manner of booze – most of it from scratch — from bourbon to vodka and gin to liqueurs.

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