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Groundbreaking distillery opens in Washington

Heritage Distilling Company (HDC), the first craft distillery in the US where consumers can legally create their own small-batch spirits, is finally set to open on 3 November.


Heritage Distilling Company
The Heritage Distilling Company hopes to become a destination distillery

As reported by The Spirits Business in May, HDC, located in Gig Harbour, Washington, will be open to the public for tastings, tours and private events.

A community-owned project headed by Jennifer and Justin Stiefel, HDC will offer two bespoke distilling packages for consumers.

‘My Batch’ will allow visitors to hand craft a small batch of vodka, gin or whiskey under the direction of HDC’s distillers in its still room, while ‘Cask Club’ will allow bourbon, rye and whiskey enthusiasts to monitor their own custom-aged spirits in private 10-litre casks.

Justin Stiefel said the launch of the two packages has set a new precedent for legal bespoke distilling.

“Unlike wine and beer, which people can legally make at home for personal consumption, it is illegal to own and operate a still without federal and state licensing,” he said. “Up until now people interested in making spirits had very few options. Now thanks to our patent-pending My Batch and Cask Club programs spirits enthusiasts can get involved as much or as little as they want, legally.”

For those more interested in buying a ready-made spirit, HDC has lined up three new brands for release soon after the distillery launches.

They include Washington’s Unaged Rye Whiskey, a variation on the famous US President’s own original recipe; Elk Rider vodka, gin and whiskey all designed to be bold in flavour; and Wherskey vodka and gin, both distilled from grapes, and ‘light whiskey’ distilled from grain, is a series of spirits designed with a ‘softer’ flavour to appeal more to female consumers.

As a craft distillery HDC will be required to source 51% of its ingredients from within Washington. As such the group is sourcing grain from family-owned farms in Odessa and Latah.

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