photo by Virginia Lazar

Oakhurst Spirits was founded by Mike and Ally Benbrook in 2017. As a couple, the Benbrooks had over 30 years’ experience in business, owning a manufacturing company near San Diego and operating an art gallery in Balboa Park. Craving the good life but not ready to retire, they sold their business, moved to the mountains, and pursued their dream of opening a distillery and art gallery.

Ally Benbrook quickly became a member of the local artists’ community, participating in art shows and teaching painting technique. Unfortunately, Ally lost her life to cancer in 2019*. Mike continues to run the distillery and Gina Mims, President of Yosemite Sierra Artists, now shows her work at the Gallery and will curate upcoming art shows.

Mike Benbrook is a retired USN Chief Petty Officer, and is a member of the American Distilling Institute, the California Artisinal Distillers Guild, and the American Craft Spirits Association.

Our philosophy is to always create our craft spirits in small batches, with all locally-sourced ingredients. We believe in sourcing all supplies from local businesses whenever possible to support our community. Each batch has a story and a carefully thought-out plan to achieve a unique taste.

Visit often, we’ll have a surprise each time we see you!

*The first question asked when people find out that Ally had lung cancer was: “Did she smoke?” Only 1 in 6 people who smoke get some from of cancer. By that statement you are responsible for your illness. The word fight also comes to mind. You develop a treatment plan with your doctors. Stage 4 cancers will always kill you. You cannot fight hard enough to win that battle. Therefore you were weak and lost the fight. There is no fight, no positivity, no eastern medicine, no weed that will cure stage 4 cancers.