Creating our Los Angeles Distillery

Greenbar Distillery and Los Angeles go together. Without this city, we wouldn’t have all the influences that make Greenbar Distillery spirits so unique: the local flora that add flavor and depth; the beautiful weather that means year-round access to bountiful produce; the melting pot of cultures that means we never get bored exploring new restaurants and bars.

As the original Los Angeles distillery, we’re known for distilling the flavor of our city but as a city of transplants what does that really mean?

Litty and Melkon, Greenbar Distillery Founders in Los Angeles

Litty Mathew gives her thoughts:

I was at a national trade show a few years ago representing ‘the Los Angeles Distillery’. Seriously. Greenbar Distillery was the only one in the city for several years. The spiritsmaker at the table next to me — making conversation while we were setting up our tables — asked me: What makes Los Angeles so special. This was a question I’d thought about. Like a lot. (He was probably sorry he’d started us down the rabbit hole.)

This is what I told him:

Shortly after graduate school, way before Melkon and I started our Los Angeles distillery, I wanted to move away. I’d visited cities that had a defined center and a strong sense of culture. I thought Los Angeles didn’t have either. I thought our city made no sense.

But Melkon threw a different light on the situation. “You’re not looking at Los Angeles the right way,” he said. “Los Angeles is anything you want it to be. It’s up to you to define your LA.”

Wow. Talk about a shift in perspective. Here I’d been sitting back and passively waiting for Los Angeles to take charge.

The freedom that comes with defining your own place helped us start Greenbar Distillery. By letting go of expectations, we could see all the possibilities. This is something we don’t take for granted. It’s a gift that helped create our Los Angeles distillery and the cool spirits that we make today.

Los Angeles Distillery