Hollow Spirits Head Distiller Martin Ulloa started by making beer in buckets in his garage. “I was so fascinated with the homebrewing process. I played around with all sorts of beer and wine recipes. I had so much fun learning the process of production I thought, ‘why not take it to the next level?’” For Martin, the next level was spirits. While he worked for local breweries, Martin spent his other hours learning about distillation. “Fermentation was always the crux. When I realized that if you distill a beer it can become a whiskey, my mind was blown.” Brewing for a living by day, and researching distillation process by night, his life became consumed by alcohol… in the best way!
Soon Martin realized he had to learn first-hand how to make incredible alcohol. This led him to take a job at ‘Balcones Distilling’ in Waco, TX. Balcones is one of the flagships in craft distilling whom have won countless awards for their whiskies. “There’s this mysticism behind distillation, so for me to have had the opportunity to be part of Balcones and learn from pioneers like Jared Himstedt and Zack Pilgrim has really been invaluable. It’s funny, along the way I feel so fortunate to have met and learned from so many talented individuals and like Brandon Venaglia, Bathtub Row Brewing, and Bob Haggerty, Steelbender Brewyard, whom have really set me up for success.”
“I see spirits as art. I have opinions about how spirits should taste and I dreamed about the opportunity to put my artistic stamp on a wide range of spirits.” Almost cosmically, a door opened for Martin at Hollow Spirits Distilling. This not only allowed Martin to handcraft spirits but to build the local community he wants to see thrive. Raised in New Mexico, Albuquerque is Martin’s home. He sees his role at Hollow Spirits as the perfect opportunity to support the local community and further the place of NM craft spirits on an international scale.