Booze News

Sun Liquor Spirits: An Addendum

Will bottles be retailed at the distillery on Pike Street? Definitely maybe.

By Christopher Werner November 3, 2011

Hedge Trimmer gin, finally out of the box. Photo courtesy Sun Liquor

Sun Liquor spirits are flowing freely at the label’s two Capitol Hill bars—yay—but, asks reader McLean, Will people be able to purchase bottles of the gin and vodka at the distillery on Pike Street?

Last we checked the answer was maybe, but for a more detailed explanation we turn to Erik Chapman, Sun Liquor manager and a lead distiller. The distillery is also the site of one of the aforementioned bars. This complicates things—the hybrid is a first for Washington. “Being the only one in the state, [the Liquor Control Board] doesn’t quite know what to do with us. We are still trying to, but not sure what will happen.”

Also asked reader McLean: Aren’t only craft distillers allowed to sell on site? And didn’t Sun swap a craft license for a regular one so as to dodge regulations regarding local sourcing?

True, Sun does operate under a regular permit but not for sourcing reasons, says Chapman. (Sixty percent of the ingredients in Hedge Trimmer are from Washington, for example). Two motivators prompted that decision: Again, there’s the uncertainty of whether bottles will be retailed at the distillery—“one of the biggest perks of having a craft license.” Secondly, “We didn’t want a limit of 100k gallons per year. This way we can produce more than just gin and vodka,” adds Chapman, hinting at seasonal small batch releases and forthcoming liqueurs.

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