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How many craft distilleries are there in Washington state?

We hear that the state of Washington has gone from one craft distillery a few years ago (based in Spokane), to more than 20 in production today.  See the post below for the connection.

We'll take on the challenge of verifying that number and trying to list the full names of those craft distillers.

Anyone having names or suggestions, leave them here as a comment. Thanks.

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.

I-1183: More stores, less variety?

One angle of Initiative 1183 that has not been the subject of millions of dollars worth of commercials for and against is choice – as in will my choice of liquor be better or worse if the measure passes?

With campaigns arguing over whether people will or won’t drink significantly more liquor, get into significantly more traffic accidents and have significantly more problems with alcohol abuse, it’s probably not surprising that neither side has the campaign equivalent of “Dos Equis Guy” saying “I don’t always drink single malt 20-year-old scotch, but when I do, I like shopping at Washington State liquor stores.”

But selection is likely to change, at least initially…

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.

Dry Fly Bourbon ready to be released this week

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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.

WA Lege Day 52: ‘Dry Fly’ bill moves forward

OLYMPIA — Dry Fly Distillery and any other “craft” maker of distilled liquor will be able to grow three times larger than the current limits under a bill that passed the House Wednesday.

Small or craft distilleries were unknown in Washington two years ago when the Legislature passed a law allowing operators to make up to 20,000 gallons of distilled spirits. Dry Fly of Spokane was the first to open, and now there are 26 companies around the state that hold or have applied for a license, Rep. Alex Wood, D-Spokane said. They use local farm products and are becoming “another industry for our state,” he said.

But in setting up the law, the Legislature picked an arbitrary limit of 20,000 gallons, he said. Senate Bill 6458 raises that to 60,000 gallons. The House approved the measure 97-1, and sent it back to the Senate because of a minor amendment to one section.