If you were in Charleston, South Carolina, in the last few days and spied a huge spheroid moving through the sky with the word "vodka" emblazoned on its side, don't worry. You're not hallucinating.
Hangar One Vodka, the San Francisco Bay Area distiller, is touring the country by blimp to promote its products with a series of cocktail contests. Local bartenders in the 30 cities the tour stops at are charged with making drinks using Hangar One's seven vodka flavors.
The blimp is currently on its way—at a 40-mile-an-hour clip—to Richmond, Virginia, with Sunday as its estimated day of arrival.
The 120-foot airship will proceed up the East Coast to New Hampshire, with several stops along the way. Then it heads west with more events in the northern Midwest before turning south at Minneapolis. At Houston, the Hangar One turns west, touring the Southwest before going north at San Diego. The home leg of the journey takes it to San Francisco. (The itinerary avoids the highest Rocky Mountains as the thin atmosphere provides insufficient lift.)
The blimp is a nod to Hangar One's aviation origins. Originally an eau de vie maker, the company started in a hangar at the Alameda Naval Air Station. The entourage also includes a vintage Airstream trailer.
Visit the Hangar One on Facebook for more information.