After more than nine months of construction, Dry Fly Distilling’s production facility is now complete in downtown Spokane.
The 24,000-square-foot production facility opens Thursday in The Spokesman-Review’s former newspaper press building at 1021 W. Riverside Ave.
The facility, which houses a tasting room, bottle shop, restaurant, event space and offices, will replace Dry Fly’s former location on Trent Avenue near Gonzaga University.
“I’m excited for people to come in and see what we’ve done,” said Don Poffenroth, Dry Fly Distilling president and CEO. “One thing about this facility is you can come into the tasting room and see absolutely everything (in the building). We try to make it an immersive experience.”
Dry Fly’s new production facility is more than four times the size of its former Trent Avenue location, allowing the company to boost canning and bottling operations, Poffenroth said.
Dry Fly will be able to increase production capacity from 20,000 to 75,000 gallons with potential to expand even further in the future.
The distillery will start with four 650-proof gallon fermenters but can house 10, along with an additional column still in the new facility.
The facility also provides Dry Fly with the ability to optimize its bottling line to 1,000 bottles per hour and increase canning capacity of its popular ‘On the Fly’ cocktails from 40 to 100 cans per minute.
Dry Fly will begin canning and bottling in two to three weeks, Poffenroth said.
“Everything in here is more efficient and faster,” Poffenroth said. “It will just make us a better manufacturer.”
Dry Fly is planning to host tours of the facility once it receives permit approval. The facility’s full-service restaurant is slated to open in a month, Poffenroth said.
Once the new production facility is fully operational, it will employ more than 35 employees, Poffenroth added.
Dry Fly’s relocation to downtown Spokane was prompted by the need for more space.
After Dry Fly maxed out space at its Trent Avenue location, the company initially considered a move to a larger facility in north Spokane. But that building failed an engineering test, Poffenroth said in an interview last September.
About a week later, Poffenroth was contacted by the Cowles family about a potential vacancy in The Spokesman-Review’s former newsprint and press building.
The building is owned by Cowles Real Estate Co., a subsidiary of Cowles Co., which also publishes The Spokesman-Review.
Dry Fly, which began producing gin, whiskey and vodka in 2007, will feature items in the production facility that showcase history of the distillery, manufacturing in Spokane and the newspaper, Poffenroth said.
“I’m really interested to have the hardcore Dry Fly fans that have been around forever see the new building,” Poffenroth said. “I’m excited to have people come see the mechanics of what we put together. It is a pretty massive and beautiful place.”
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