History

From Prohibition Bootleggers to Modern Craft Distillers, the Cutler family has a longstanding legacy in the California Spirits Industry.

Circa 1915-1916 Angels Camp, California

Duke Cutler, great-grandfather to current Cutler’s Distillery Owner Ian Cutler, seeks to follow his dream, and open a local bar serving the hundreds of thirsty gold miners looking to strike it rich, however with the gold mines of Angels Camp drying up Duke decided to move south to the town of Oakdale, Ca. located in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada Mountains, just west of Yosemite National Park.

1917-1920 Oakdale, California

Volunteering to fight in World War I, Duke is placed in the 28th Infantry Division and is severely injured while fighting in Marne France Duke and the rest of the Division are named the “Men of Iron,” by the commander of the US forces, for their heroic stand. After returning from the war Duke once again attempted to follow his dream of starting a local bar, unfortunately enactment of the 18th amendment to the constitution started the Era Prohibition, which kept him from legally realizing his dream, however it is believed that a small shop did open up and was run as a speakeasy, which would later become the legal watering hole named “Dukes Bar”

1920-1933 Oakdale, California

Duke teams up with a local farmer running a successful moonshine operation on the outskirts of Oakdale. The local moonshine produced on the farm was sold to thirsty residents, including local sheriffs, judges and even the governor of California. Keeping the local authorities amply supplied with liquor, paid off many times over in the form of “heads up” warnings about federal raids on the farm.

1933-1936 in Oakdale, California

With the end of Prohibition in 1933, Duke was finally free to legally follow his dream and open Duke’s Bar to the public. A few years later in 1936 Duke opened the Cutler’s Family Liquor Store, and began selling top quality spirits that locals had come to expect from good old Duke.

1943 in Oakdale, California

Duke opens a second Liquor store across town and names it The Bottle Shop.

1945 in Oakdale, California

Dukes son Bob Cutler, joins the family business after serving in World War II, as a B-17 bomber pilot (hence the wings in the Cutler’s logo!). Soon after Duke and Bob started the Cutler’s line of spirits, which much like today, included Whiskeys, Gin, and Vodka. Look closely in the image to the right and you can see an old bottle of Cutler’s Whiskey on the top shelf.

1970-1980 Oakdale, California

Bob’s son Chuck Cutler, came on board in the 1970’s helping with operations at the Family Liquor Store, and growing the highly recognized Cutler’s brand, which had become synonymous with exceptional quality.

1985 Oakdale, California

With changes to Fair Trade Laws in California mega-mart retailers gained a substantial benefit over small business. Changes to California Liquor Laws coupled with a major recession forced the Cutlers to shutdown their operations.

July 2013  Santa Barbara, California

Over 80 years since Old Duke Cutler started the family in the distilled spirits business, Ian Cutler is revitalizing the Cutler heritage in distilled spirits, following the same dedication to providing the finest possible spirits to thirsty locals pioneered nearly 4 generations ago.