Matthew Alper is a second-generation Angeleno. His grandparents came to the city in the early 1920s when Los Angeles was still in its infancy. They worked hard, started businesses, raised families, lived and died in this city. They gave their children the values they brought from the old country: hard work, perseverance, loyalty and honesty.
In his early teens, Matthew fell in love with photography and the camera. At thirteen he became the youngest photographer ever published in Sports Illustrated with a photograph of his disabled brother Gregory participating in the Special Olympics. At 22, he became the youngest member of the International Cinematographers Guild, the prestigious organization of elite cameramen. Matthew rose through the ranks, eventually managing multimillion-dollar–camera departments for such films as The Avengers, Bad Words, Crazy Stupid Love, Ironman 2, Transformers 2, The Fast and the Furious, Pirates of the Caribbean, and many others.
In 1999, his brother Bradford founded the OTTIMINO Winery. Despite his hectic schedule, Matthew found time to work as brand ambassador there. His wife, Kristy Byrd, is the director of California sales for Frog’s Leap Winery. She is a certified sommelier.
For more than a decade, Matthew has been an avid collector of all things spirits, with emphasis on the brown spirits. He even made his own small-batch bourbon for friends and family. His early collecting of American whiskey gave him an insight into the coming boom in spirits. With Matthew’s deep connections to the city’s entertainment, food and cocktail culture, a question kept plaguing him: Why doesn’t Los Angeles have its own signature brand?
It took some time, effort (and a lot of liquid inspiration) but Matthew eventually answered that question. By bringing together a lifetime of experiences as a native Angeleno and always seeking to understand his city and its people, Matthew found the inspiration to create Mulholland Distilling...which he hopes will help others discover their own “Spirit of Los Angeles.™”