our roots

We began as children in our grandfather’s Southern California backyard, surrounded by an endless abundance of wild fruits, vegetables, herbs and flowers.  We would harvest these at random and stuff them into an old beer keg with some water.  After some time in the sun, the liquid would ferment.  At the time, we thought we were concocting “magic potions”.  We did not realize that this was our first step to a more systematic exploration of the history and techniques of fermentation and eventually, distillation.

In 2008, we focused on the idea of capturing the sense and spirit of the California coastal terrain where we grew up. With this in mind El Castor was born. A new regional spirit that would represent not only California but the whole West Coast.  We began by hand-harvesting the bright crimson, intensely prickly fruit of the wild beavertail cactus and refining it into a hand-crafted spirit, using ancient distilling apparatus and self developed techniques. Our spirits are uniquely Californian, and represent the west coast spirit. 

Today Birdview Distillery is focused on crafting the finest California fruit brandies from sustainable farms. Our flagship product El Castor is made from native California prickly pears. we continue to strive towards creating the best product by using the best ingredients available.