Thursday, November 26 , 2015, 6:27 am | Fair 38º

BizHawk: County’s First Liquor Distillery Since Prohibition Opens in Buellton adds stories feature, Santa Barbara Business Expo is planned for April and boutique real estate brokerage forms

Steve Gertman inspects one of several copper containers in his Ascendant Spirits distillery in Buellton, which makes whiskey, vodka and more.
Steve Gertman inspects one of several copper containers in his Ascendant Spirits distillery in Buellton, which makes whiskey, vodka and more.  (Ascendant Spirits Inc. photo)

By Gina Potthoff, Noozhawk Staff Writer | @ginapotthoff |

[BizHawk is published weekly, and includes items of interest to the business community. Share your business news, including employee announcements and personnel moves, by emailing [email protected].]

A vision two years in the making will be realized this weekend with the opening of Ascendant Spirits Inc., which will be Santa Barbara County’s first legal full-service distillery since Prohibition.

Steve Gertman and family are opening the Buellton liquor distillery’s doors to the public for tours and tastings this Saturday and Sunday. Click here for regular and grand-opening weekend hours.

The venture, located off Highway 101 at 37 Industrial Way, Suite 103, will also be the only legal distillery on the Central Coast, Gertman told Noozhawk.

“The industry as a whole is taking off,” said Gertman, who studied at the American Distilling Institute. “This is really a perfect spot.”

Gertman, a Boston native who has lived in Southern California since 1998, said the local climate is good for aging whiskey and making batches of vodka, moonshine and more.

Clicking here for more information about new spirits releases and available locations, or call 805.691.1000. Adds Stories Feature to Site, a mobile and web platform that highlights the Santa Barbara social night scene, has added a new feature that allows locals to post stories about their experiences.

The user-generated content, which will be posted in a Stories section, supplements Night Out’s existing handpicked content with original accounts from those who know the city best.

Night Out is seeking more contributors, and is encouraging anyone local to sign up to contribute. The feature is designed to enhance the visitor’s experience and allow Santa Barbarans to stay up to date on their scene.

Santa Barbara Business Expo Planned for April

The first Santa Barbara Business Expo, sponsored by the Women’s Community Business Network, is planned for 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. April 20 at Fess Parker’s DoubleTree Resort, 633 E. Cabrillo Blvd.

The expo will feature prominent area business people who will share their experiences and offer tips and tactics at dozens of displays and booths.

VIP admission is $25, and attendees who pre-register online receive an additional discounted price of $20. General and student admission is $10, and exhibitors will receive five tickets free. Complimentary parking is included.

Organizers say the Santa Barbara Business Expo is an interactive networking convention designed specifically for the needs of the Santa Barbara business community.

For more information on the expo, email .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Vendors will have the opportunity display products and services they feel will be of interest to the business community of the area.

New Boutique Real Estate Brokerage Firm Forms

In collaboration with First Principle Inc., Gene McKnight has announced the formation of FP Commercial, a boutique real estate brokerage specializing in real estate sales, leasing and investment opportunities.

FP Commercial offers a full range of commercial real estate services, and the company’s brokers and associates have facilitated sales and leases in retail, office properties, restaurant space, industrial, manufacturing, warehouse facilities, land and multifamily dwelling.

The combined experience and expertise of FP Commercial and First Principle Inc., which specializes in M&A advisory and business brokering, provides the company with a unique advantage for situations in which commercial real estate and businesses are combined, according to a news release.

McKnight, who brings more than 27 years of experience to FP Commercial, focuses on investment sales as well as tenant and landlord advisory services. He began his real estate career with Grubb & Ellis Commercial Real Estate in 1985, where he specialized in investment sales. He has been a licensed broker since 1985 and has had the opportunity to work with many of the region’s leading residents, private firms and corporations.

Noozhawk staff writer Gina Potthoff can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

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