The Spirits of Washington State
The distilling industry in Washington State is growing fast and producing an ever-widening range of spirits. As of October 2014, Washington has 99 licensed distilleries in the state, with 10 state license applications in process. The Washington Distillers Guild estimates this to be highest number of distilleries of any state in the country that are dedicated to producing spirits for retail sale.
Seattle has more distilleries than any city in the country, with 17 licensed distilleries within its city limits. And King County (roughly the greater Seattle area) with 26 distilleries, has more distilleries than any county in the U.S.
A broad range of classic and inventive styles of distilled spirits are produced, primarily from grain and fruit bases. From whiskey, rum, brandy, gin and vodka to absinthe, aquavit and liqueurs, Washington’s creative and entrepreneurial distillers cover the gamut of spirits to be produced.
The industry is a natural extension of the state’s strength and reputation in both agriculture and the alcohol industry, earned from production of world-class beer and wines. Distilleries are located in all parts of Washington State, stretching from the coast to the state’s first distillery in Spokane, and from the Canadian border to the border with Oregon.
Washington Distillers Guild
Established in 2008, the Washington Distillers Guild is a 501(c)6 non-profit organization that represents and works to promote the success of distilleries located in the state. It is the largest guild of its kind in the U.S.
In July 2014, the Guild hosted the second annual PROOF Washington Distillers Festival where the 40 craft distilleries that make up the Guild offered samples and sales of more than 90 different products.
The Guild is led by an active Board of Directors comprised of owners of operating distilleries.
Data sources: Washington Distillers Guild, Washington State Liquor Control Board, and the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau.