It turns out making moonshine — and bourbon and vodka and gin — is a family business. That’s what Steve Gertman, president and master distiller at the new Ascendant Spirits, has discovered. Gertman left a career as a television producer for automotive-oriented programs to open Santa Barbara’s first legal full distillery since Prohibition. “I suckered my dad into the business, so like our neighbors Figueroa Mountain, we’re a son-father business,” Gertman relates. “My dad is a several-times-over entrepreneur and had always been pushing me to do that. And with all the playing around with speeding cars, my mother was very pleased I changed to a nice safe profession like distilling.”
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