Distillery Report: The Latest Numbers

Here’s a snapshot of the Washington craft distillery scene as it stands.

May 14, 2010

As of last count, there are 14 approved craft distilleries in Washington State.

Three of those are in operation: Dry Fly in Spokane, Ellensburg Distillery in Ellensburg, and Soft Tail Spirits in Woodinville.

Of the 11 approved projects that have yet to open for business, three are in Seattle. Sound Spirits will likely be the first to open shop in Seattle. Other distillers hope to welcome visitors to tastings rooms in places like Bainbridge Island, Chehalis, and Concrete. Here’s an unrelated piece of information: Concrete is also the setting of This Boys Life by Tobias Wolff, one of the great American coming-of-age memoirs.

There are 18 pending craft distilling applications, with new ones filed with the LCB almost daily, or at least it seems. I call the applicants all the time to learn their plans, and I should mention that not all the applications are to be taken entirely seriously. But when you think about the fact that two years ago there were exactly zero distilleries in Washington State, and that it had been that way since prohibition, it’s all pretty remarkable.

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