Closed, but not forgotten.
When I first decided to start checking out the state’s micro distilleries, I looked online to see what was out there. I made a list and when I was done, I had found over 100 of them. A few days later my wife wanted to visit a store in Sumner and I check the list and found there was a distillery to visit. It was Parliament Distillery and from what little I could find about it, it was open that day. Much to my chagrin, I found the distillery closed. Someone that worked in the business park where the distillery was located told me it had been closed for about 3 months.
In researching other distilleries from my list, I also found there were a number of them that had failed in a very competitive market. Now that I have visited quite a few distilleries, I can see why some make it and others don’t. Here is a list of those distilleries that are no longer in business:
Sodo Spirits, Seattle
Soft Tail Distilling, Woodinville, vodka still available at Total Wine in Vancouver.
Project V, Woodinville
Port Steilacoom Distilling, Steilacoom
Golden Distilling, Bow
Dry County Distillery, Marysville
Cougar Red, Pullman
Challenger Ridge, Concrete
Blue Flame, Prosser, products shown available at some Total Wines, check online for availability.
21 Window Distilling, Spokane
Bowman Orchards, Moses Lake
Mt. Baker, Bellingham, products shown available at some Total Wines, check online for availability.
Mt. Index, Gold Bar
Tucker Distilling, Silverdale
Shot In the Dark, Walla Walla
Old Ballard Liquor Co, Seattle, do not confuse with a liquor store with a similar name.
I did find a bottle of whiskey from Mt. Baker Distilling at Total Wine, it was the last one on the shelf and had been marked down. Being a 375ml bottle, it didn’t last long. Its sad knowing the last drink from a bottle will be the last you will ever have of that spirit.
Since I have been actively planning visits to distilleries during vacations and weekend getaways, I have come across 2 others that I did not know had closed. The first was on a drive back home from Montana and a planned stop at Whiskey Gap Distilling in Ritzville. Unfortunately, the distillery was closed with a small sign thanking those that had visited in the past. I was surprised a few months later to find a couple of their products at my local Total Wine so I bought a bottle of each. They are Red Handed and Fields of Gold whiskeys. I have tried each, both are aged for 3 months in oak barrels and still have a bit of a raw taste to them. Some more time in the barrel would have helped both. I am considering aging one of them in a small oak barrel I have just to see how it would affect the product.
The other distillery I found closed was a bit of a heart breaker for me. I had been planning my summer vacation for months and this distillery was going to be a highlight because it is located in a small town in Northeast Washington and I have relatives that live there. A visit with family and a new distillery, what could be better. A week before we left on vacation, I was informed that Dominion Distillery was now closed by my cousin but she would try to get me a bottle of one of their products. That didn’t work out either. While in Colville I did find out the distillery had closed because the head distiller had moved on to a new opportunity but the owners were hoping to find a new distiller soon. Dominion never sold any products in any retail establishments so I wasn’t able to try any of their products.
I am doing my part to support the small distillers of this state and can only encourage others to also shop for local products. In my dream scenario, my liquor cabinet will contain at least a bottle from each distillery in this state. I currently have products from 31 and my quest to add more will begin this morning, a day trip to the south sound are and visits to distilleries in Lacey and Olympia.