Craft distilleries are a burgeoning business in the Northwest. When Washington state enacted its Craft Distillery legislation on July 1st, 2008, a small number of dedicated individuals were ready to hit the ground running. Less than five years later, 80-90 distilleries are in the permitting process with about half in production today.
Dry Fly Distillery was the first distillery in the Washington state since the prohibition days. Craft distilleries are not just about how much they produce but the how their spirits are produced. Dry Fly is one of several Washington distilleries with the farm to bottle approach. Dry Fly states:
producing every drop of liquor it sells from only raw materials grown locally by sustainable farms.
Bainbridge Organic Distillers is the state’s first distillery crafting USDA Certified Organic spirits. A big piece of that dedication is to reflected in how Bainbridge Organic Distillers works with local family farms. Bainbridge Organic Distillers are proud to be involved in all stages of the “Farm to Bottle” approach in creating their spirits.
Fremont Mischief uses organic and heirloom grains from local farms. San Juan Island Distillers wanted their spirits to reflect the terroir.
We want our gins to taste like San Juan Island, and we look for botanicals that evoke the feeling of walking through the woods by the sea on our beautiful islands. So our gins are distilled with blackberries, wild roses (or rose hips in the winter), lavender from Pelindaba Farm, and Madrona bark. We also collect new growth Douglas fir and a couple of other secret Island botanicals.”
While many of our local distilleries make their spirits in “small batches”. Woodinville Whiskey Company goes one step further. Woodinville Whiskey ages their Washington whiskeys in smaller 8 gallon barrels,exposing the whiskey to three times amount of wood. You can also buy a kit with their un-aged Whiskey with a mini barrel to age your own whiskey to your precise preferences. Heritage Distilling has a “cask club” where YOU can participate in the process of making spirits.
Craft distilleries are more than how much they produce and how they produce it. It is the who that makes up craft distilleries. Craft distilleries aren’t owned by corporations, they tend to be family and friend owned. Many Washington craft distilleries are small family owned business. Dry Fly is owned by fishing buddies. “Ladies of Liquer” is the nick name for the women owned BroVo Spirits. The owners of Tatoosh Distillery have a “little black book of 100 year-old family ‘shine recipes” and come from a rich history of distillers, here and abroad.
An important aspect of the Washington Craft Distillery Act is that 51% of our raw materials must be grown and sourced in Washington. That is the minimum, many distillers use almost all Washington products. Wishkah River Distillery uses 96% locally grown, environmentally healthy raw materials from our local farmers.
Types of Washington spirits
Although you won’t find rum or tequila at your local distillers because of the Washington Craft Distiller Act, you will find much more than just gin, vodka and whiskey. Pacific Distillery and Gnostalgic Distillery make absinthe “using old-world methods, recipes and equipment“. Sidetrack Distillery specializes in berry liqueurs and berry brandy using the farm’s fruit and herbs. Sodo Spirits makes 100% pearled barley from eastern Washington and imported Koji spores from Japan to make Evenstar Shochu
Washington distilleries accolades
Drinking local supports local businesses but it needs to taste good too! Our craft distilleries make some really tasty liquor. Liquor and travel experts selected the ten most imaginative distilleries in the US. Washington distilleries grabbed two out of the ten coveted slots: Bainbridge Organic Distillers and 5 O’clock Distillery.
Who doesn’t love bacon? Black Rock Spirits Bakon Vodka has been consistently rated highly by tasting experts. It was rated 93 points by Tasting Panel Magazine
International Review of Spirits Award: Gold Medal 92 points Skip Rock Vodka from Skagit Valley Yukon Gold potatoes.
Why buy Washington spirits?
Of course, we want you to buy your spirits at our locally owned Wine World. When you do, your dollars support a number of local businesses, promoting social responsibility and local economic growth.
Wine World → Washington Distillers → Washington Farmers
Washington Distillery Spirits at Wine World
- It’s Five O’Clock Somewhere Distillery
- Bainbridge Organic Distillers
- Batch 206 Distillery
- Black Heron Spirits
- Black Rock Spirits
- Black Sam
- Blue Flame Spirits / Second Chance 2009
- Blue Spirits Distilling
- Bluewater Distilling
- BroVo Spirits (WA)
- Captive Spirits
- Carbon Glacier Distillery
- Dark Moon Artisan Distillery
- Dry County Distillery
- Dry Fly Distilling
- Ellensburg Distillery
- Fremont Mischief
- Glass Vodka
- Gnostalgic Spirits
- Golden Distillery
- Heritage Distillery
- Lachselian Wine & Spirits
- Letterpress Distillery
- Mac Donald Distillery
- Meriweather Distilling
- Mount Baker Distillery
- Oola Distillery
- Pacific Distillery
- Parliament Distillery
- Port Steilacoom Distillery
- Project V Distillery
- Rain City Spirits/Black Rock Spirits
- San Juan Island Distillery
- Sidetrack Distillery/Blue Dog
- Skip Rock Distillers
- Sodo Spirits
- Soft Tail Spirits
- Sounds Spirits Distillery
- Sun Liquor Distillery
- Tatoosh Distillery
- Walla Walla Distilling Co.
- Whidbey Island Distillery
- Wishkah River Distillery
- Woodinville Wiskey Company
- 2 Bar Spirits