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Posts tagged: Dry Fly Distilling

Dry Fly Distilling has a creel full of new spirits, including rare Triticale blend

Early holiday gift planning idea:

Spokane’s Dry Fly Distilling is releasing four new spirits around Dec. 1, and expects them to sell out within two weeks.

Started in 2007, Dry Fly has gradually added more choices to its initial group of two retail offerings — vodka and gin.

Around Dec. 1, the privately held distillery will start selling bottles of Port Finish Wheat Whiskey, Straight Triticale Whiskey, Cask Strength Wheat Whiskey and Barrel Reserve Gin.

The first and last are distilled versions of existing blends but using oak barrels to add more taste and variety to the flavor, said co-owner Don Poffenroth.

The Cask Strength Whiskey is Dry Fly’s wheat whiskey but distilled to 120 proof and not the current 80-proof variety. Poffenroth said. That makes the whiskey better for mixed drinks. “You can use less and still get its bolder flavor,” he said.

The Triticale Whiskey from Dry Fly may be the first commercial production of that flavor, he added. Triticale is a grain hybrid of wheat and rye, he added.

It took a number of trials using different Triticale seed varieties to find the right one for the whiskey. The liquor being bottled comes from farms near Ritzville and Rosalia.

“It’s the best thing we’ve ever made,” added Poffenroth, who described it as a smooth blend of rye and wheat whiskey flavors.

All four new blends, plus a second batch of last year’s Dry Fly Bourbon, will go on sale on Dec. 1, said Poffenroth. Bottles will be found in Washington and Idaho liquor stores and many area supermarkets (other than Safeway, which doesn’t carry Dry Fly products).

And now the prices:  Around $30 for a 375-milliliter bottle. That's half the usual fifth size. So …. it's not something most people will buy for themselves. Better to give it to someone who deserves a good present.

State approaching 1,404 liquor retailers; latest Spokane spirits count: 99

Today we ran a quick story on the plans by Spokane's Dry Fly Distilling to develop a system of getting more of its gin, vodka and whiskey across the state, once the floodgates open on June 1. That's when the vast changes pushed through by Initiative 1183 take effect.

The story said the state will likely have more than 1,600 spirits retailers when that date comes, and that Dry Fly clearly wants to be more widely distributed than it is today.

A day later, we can be a bit more precise than that.

According to the state Liquor Control Board website, one can look and find exactly how many spirits retailer licenses have been applied for.

Statewide, as of April 24, the total is 1,404 applications, including applications by former operators of contract liquor stores (for an example, we wrote about the store in Medical Lake a month ago).

Add the 167 or so state stores whose liquor licenses were recently auctioned off, that brings the current total to 1,571 licenses, either approved or pending.

One caution: applications for the state stores are not yet officially filed.

Will it hit 1,600?  Very likely. The Spokane County application total, as of April 24, is 99 locations.

A month ago when we wrote about the list of applicants, the statewide count was just 1,200 and the Spokane County count was 90 license applications.

Hats off to Dry Fly, and to the WSU design students for rethinking Ritzville

We found one wheat-related business in Spokane eager to take part in a proposed ag-themed development in Ritzville, located about 60 miles west of Spokane.

That business is Dry Fly Distilling, one of the state's best-regarded craft distillers. The Dry Fly people have been using area grains in all their spirits, including an all-wheat whiskey released last year.

Ritzville residents have concluded it's better to love the freeway than hate it. This story in today's SR sums up the effort, which includes work done for Ritzville by WSU Spokane design students.

A footnote that didn't make it into today's story. After this year, the entire design program at WSU Spokane will be moved to Pullman. Officials say the decision is budget-based.

Washington looking at allowing craft distilleries to sell at farmers markets

This may be the year Washington legislators give a thumbs-up to the idea of craft distilleries selling booze at farmers' markets.

Until recently, Washington had just one craft distillery, Dry Fly Distilling, of Spokane. That number has grown in recent years. With the growth has come the desire by those companies to use farmers' markets to reach more customers. Wineries and beer brewers are already allowed to sell at markets.

The current bill working its way through the current legislature is SB5650.  It authorizes licensed craft distilleries to apply to the liquor control board for an endorsement to sell their own bottled spirits markets.

The spirits must be produced in the state of Washington in order to be sold at markets.

The step in the process is a public hearing on the bill on Tuesday (Jan.31) before the Senate Committee on Labor and Commerce and Consumer Protection. The hearing is set for 1:30 p.m. in Olympia in Senate Hearing Room 4 of the Cherberg Building.

For more information on the bill, here's the legislative history and summary.

Collectible first bottle of Dry Fly Bourbon sells for $2,650 on eBay

Someone must have really wanted that bottle.

Spokane's Dry Fly Distilling offered Ronald McDonald House and Casting4ACure, two area charities, the first bottle in its first ever batch of new bourbon.

That bottle was recently bought for $2,650, in an eBay auction.

The winning bidder hasn't been identified. Mike Forness, executive director of Spokane's Ronald McDonald House, said he'll ask the winner if he wishes to be made public.

Forness said Dry Fly, since opening in 2007, has been a generous benefactor to Ronald McDonald House in Spokane, and to Casting4ACure, a nationwide charity providing money for research to halt Rett Syndrome, a childhood disease that strikes young women predominantly.

The two charities will split the $2,650, Forness said. The Ronald McDonald House share provides enough money to pay for 400 nights for parents of children needing temporary lodging while dealing with severe medical conditions.

Don Poffenroth, the co-founder of Dry Fly, proudly chimed in: “It's the most expensive bottle of liquor in Washington.”

The distillery produced a limited number of bottles of its 101-proof bourbon, which were released three weeks ago. All the bottles were sold within hours of being put on sale. The company plans to release its second year batch next summer.

Note: eBay typically bans sale of booze. However, the one exception is for sales of “collectible” alcohol. Ronald McDonald House (the seller of the bottle here) followed the eBay guidelines precisely.

First batch of Dry Fly Bourbon gone within two hours

Last Saturday was the launch date for Dry Fly Distilling's notable first-ever Washington state bourbon.

The doors opened early. And within two hours, all 300 bottles — at $65 — were sold.

The privately owned craft distillery doesn't plan to release a new batch until next summer.

Another 270 bottles or so will be available later this week at the Interlake liquor store in downtown Seattle.

A short history lesson: who did make the first true Washington state bourbon?

We spotted one Washington website that wondered if Dry Fly Distilling really is producing the first-ever bourbon made in the state.

The site included a link to the image here. It's from an ad for Seattle company Northwest Distilleries dating from roughly 1933. Did that firm make bourbon well before Dry Fly?

Likely not.

According to some spirits historians, true bourbon could only be distilled in Bourbon County, Kentucky, up through 1969. We have to acknowledge that view isn't universally shared; some say there was no legal requirement that “straight” bourbon had to be made in Kentucky.

In any event, Don Poffenroth, who co-founded Dry Fly in Spokane, believes the spirit listed in the 1933 ad is among those that were made based on loose distilling standards in the early half of the 20th century.

A company could order or buy some bourbon from a true distiller, and then add some components and call it a bourbon, according to Poffenroth. He's of the opinion that's what happened, as Washington didn't have a true distillery in the 1930s. In fact, Dry Fly was the only true distillery in the state when it opened in 2007.

As Poffenroth noted: A lot of people confused “bottled” with distilled.

Dry Fly Bourbon ready to be released this week



Spokane's Dry Fly Distilling is ready to deliver its first-ever release of bourbon. It's also the first true straight bourbon distilled in Washington, according to Dry Fly's managers.

The official first day for selling the bourbon is Saturday, July 30, inside the Dry Fly shop at 1003 E. Trent. Sales of the first 300 bottles start at 8 a.m.

If you want to get ahead of Saturday's line of buyers, there's a benefit Friday evening at the store, starting at 6 p.m. Tickets for that tasting party are $25 and will benefit Ronald McDonald House and Casting 4 A Cure foundation.

The Spokane store will sell about 300 bottles. Likely they'll sell out within several hours.

The next week, another 240 bottles will go on sale at the Interlake store operated by the state, in downtown Seattle. Company co-founder Don Poffenroth said the release being sold this summer will be the only one, until next July.

Dry Fly's bourbon was aged for two years in Spokane, inside charred-oak barrels. (The legal requirement for any blend to be called a bourbon is aging inside charred oak barrels. Straight bourbon, by definition, must also be aged for at least two years.)

The Dry Fly blend is 60 percent corn, 20 percent wheat, 20 percent barley, all from local crops.

Each bottle costs $64.95 — reflecting the 101 proof quality of the blend. 

Spokane’s Dry Fly bourbon will go on sale July 30 here, then Seattle the week after

Spokane craft distillery Dry Fly will release its first batch of bourbon on July 30, company co-founder Don Poffenroth said.

The company will host a release party at its downtown distillery, at 1003 E. Trent, the evening before. Seattle will receive the bourbon the following week.

Called Dry Fly Washington State Bourbon, this is the first bourbon from Dry Fly Distilling. It has a gin, vodka and wheat whiskey lineup of spirits. The retail price will be in the $64 per fifth range.

Dry Fly Distilling a month away from releasing its new bourbon

UPDATED at 5:00 p.m. Thursday April 7

The cost of the fifth of Washington Bourbon will be $64.95, said Don Poffenroth. That's fairly equivalent to the price charged for Dry Fly's whiskey, if you figure 101-proof bourbon packs 20 percent more alcohol per fifth, he said.

And, about 60 percent of the price on the shelf will be due to taxes, Poffenroth said.

Spokane's Dry Fly Distilling is about 30 days from releasing its newest product, Dry Fly Washington Bourbon.

A considerable period of time was required to gain regulatory approval of the product's new label, said co-founder Don Poffenroth.

The company is currently involved in an expansion of its downtown facility, in order to add three more fermenters.

No formal launch party is planned. But Poffenroth said he expects the release will generate considerable interest among the distillery's customers.

Dry Fly now makes a gin, vodka and wheat whiskey.  Products are available at its distillery and at some state liquor outlets.

Don Poffenroth talks about a ‘Project X’ whiskey, due out this year

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Don Poffenroth of Dry Fly (Click player above for audio)

We asked Dry Fly's Don Poffenroth to explain  why the Spokane-based craft distillery is adding a full-time worker and three new fermenting machines to boost production capacity.

This is a 2-minute, 40 second phone interview in which Poffenroth describes the reason for that investment.

Dry Fly Distilling adding a shift, extra production capacity at its Spokane shop

Spokane's Dry Fly Distilling is a few months from adding a swing shift to increase production in its downtown facility.

Co-founder Don Poffenroth said much of the increased production will be for whiskeys. Dry Fly is selling a popular all-wheat whiskey, plans to release a new bourbon whiskey this year, then introduce a “Brand X” whiskey that's still in stealth mode.

The firm produced roughly 20,000 gallons last year of Dry Fly gin, vodka and whiskey. By adding the new swing shift, it will run somewhere between 30,000 and 32,000 gallons this year, he said.

Dry Fly has added one full-time worker for the swing shift. It's also spent roughly $30,000 for new fermenters to handle increased production. It now has four full-time workers plus two part-timers.

And for those who want to enjoy Saturday packaging shifts, the schedule is already booked out a full year, said Poffenroth.

Dry Fly gin selected among top 10 “new American gins”

Spokane-based Dry Fly Distilling scored another high rating on the Top 10 new American Gins ranking, posted this week on the blog.

Dry Fly, which also makes whiskey and vodka, ranked seventh on the list, scoring a “solidly recommended” rating.

Here’s how DrinkSpirit described the gin: ” A distinctly different style of gin, Dry Fly has thrown out the rule book and taken an entirely different approach to gin. The nose on the Dry Fly Gin is huge green apple, strawberry, confectioner’s sugar and honeysuckle flowers, and back – way, way back in the background – is just a hint of pine.

“The taste is apple, pepper, peach, vanilla, wheat, nectarine and lime peel. The finish is pretty quick and leaves your mouth very cool and clean. We like Dry Fly’s Gin but it’s the kind of spirit which will get people arguing as to whether or not it’s actually a true gin. Either way, it’s an exciting entry into this space and an interesting New American Gin.”

Dry Fly will release its next whiskey batch Saturday

Spokane’s Dry Fly Distilling, a boutique distillery with a growing reputation for quality spirits, is set to release its next 300 bottles of wheat whiskey on Saturday.

The company will start selling off 300 bottles of the whiskey starting at 8 a.m.  In previous releases customers swamped the store and snapped up the release within a few hours.

The limit will be one bottle per person.

Bottles of the whiskey are also going to state liquor stores. Co-owner Don Poffenroth said the stores getting the liquor should start selling them next week. Three Spokane state liquor stores are listed as receiving the whiskey: Numbers 65, 686 and 181.

Dry Fly’s blog notes:

The stores are being asked to limit sales to 1 bottle per person, and to NOT hold bottle for employees or patrons. Sales will be first come, first served.The distribution of the limited number of cases is based upon which stores move the most total Dry Fly product.


Dry Fly Distilling will start contract distilling

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Spokane’s Dry Fly Distilling saw its liquid assets disappear quickly last month.

That was the day of the distillery’s second release of its all-wheat Washington Whiskey. The distillery store was sold out in 60 minutes. And those retail state liquor stores given allotments (which were not a lot of bottles) sold out in several hours, said Don Poffenroth, a co-founder. The next whiskey release will be in June.

In the meantime, thanks to legislation adopted in Olympia this past session, Dry Fly now has a higher cap on total distilling volume. The first move to take advantage of that change, said Poffenroth, is for Dry Fly to do some contract distilling.

One area farm has signed up so far, he noted. That custom job will start and end in the summer, as grains are harvested. Dry Fly expects to continue locking up other bottling jobs over the next 12 months.

Spokane’s Dry Fly to add bourbon to lineup

Spokane’s successful Dry Fly Distilling is ready to move on to bourbon.

After first launching a lineup of gin and vodka, the private distillery released an all-wheat whiskey last year. It was snapped up within weeks.

Now owners Kent Fleischmann and Don Poffenroth say they’ll release about 75 cases of bourbon in the fall. They’ll call it Dry Fly Washington State Bourbon.

No price has been set. Each barrel will age for three years, said Poffenroth.

Their site is


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The Spokesman-Review business team follows economic development in Spokane and the Inland Northwest.

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Alison Boggs (@alisonboggs) Online Producer Alison Boggs posts and manages content on and its social networking accounts.

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Scott Maben Scott Maben is a Deputy City Editor who covers North Idaho news and higher education.

Addy Hatch is the city editor, and formerly was business editor.

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