Not long ago the number of legal Washington craft distillers was zero. Now, just five years after Govenor Gregoire signed the craft distillers act into law the state boasts dozens of fine craft distilleries and as a result we've seen a real boom in tasting rooms and cocktail fests. Even better, a few promoters have put together distillers festivals and the newest and what looks to be the most ambitious will take place June 15 at the roomy and luxe Foundry in Sodo. The festival will host 40 distillers(including two of my favorites from Oregon) and a dozen food purveyors as well as top mixologists. Here's a guide to some of the best who will be serving up sips and bites. For a comprehensive look at who will be attending visit proofwashington.org.
This chocolate maker is headquartered in a beautiful old brick building in the center of the universe. The good news for you is that means they have a large retail space where you can spend some time tasting your way through their entire line before you decided which bars to take home.
They also give factory tours for a minimal fee.
Beautiful jewel box of a tasting room on distillers row. Take the tour and do not miss the aged whiskey. On second thought--skip it and that will leave more for me.
Most folks come for the fresh pasta (as they should ) but don't make the mistake of skipping the antipasto of the day--the charcuterie and other items are always a very pleasing way to start the meal.
Not just a cakery this lovely room serves up all sorts of cookies, pocket pies, cocktails and culinary classes.
Yellow Leaf has a nice variety of flavours and strikes the right cake to frosting balance for those that don't like cupcakes that err on the side of frosting.
Comfort food made from locally sourced ingredients keeps folks pouring into this big, bright room with special event space and a comfortable bar. Don't miss Bacon happy hour.
Oola makes small batch gin, vodka and bourbon whiskey (my favorite) in the heart of the hill. The well appointed tasting room and adjacent patio is used for release parties but can also be rented for private events.
This bottle room is tucked away in Interbay. Drop by for some of their 206 gin, vodka or moonshine and learn about their distilling process first hand.
Step inside the Mischief tasting room in the heart of Fremont and enjoy small batch gin, vodka and rye whiskeys. Don't miss the Rex Velvet or John Jacob.
Tucked away in Interbay, Sound was ahead of the curve when they created the first Seattle Whiskey since prohibition. My favorite is their Ebb + Flow Gin.
Ben's first encounter with distilling was in his dad's basement (in another state.. years ago) and we should all be glad he got interested in distilling himself because his Big Gin is a big win!
Grab a meatball sandwich or whatever is featured on the board that day and you are certain to be well fed. Perfect spot to get takeaway to enjoy in nearby Victor Steinbrueck Park or one of the public dining areas inside the market or in Post Alley.
Beautifully crafted small batch cheeses from Port Townsend sold out of a small counter at the entrance to Pike Place Market. Don't miss the Seastack, Campfire or Truffled varieties.