Gig Harbor’s first craft distillery, the Heritage Distilling Company, is set to open for business this Saturday with a grand opening event.
On Nov. 3, spirits aficionados are invited to visit the distillery (located in the former 7 Seas Brewing building next to Inn at Gig Harbor) from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.
The Heritage Distilling Company, run by a local husband and wife duo Justin and Jennifer Stiefel, will also feature special programs that no other distilleries in the country offers.
In addition to bottled liquor sales, the distillery will have a “My Batch Program”, which allows Vodka, gin and whiskey fans to make their own hand-crafted, small-batch at the facility. The company will provide the stills and equipment.
Another program is called the “Cask Club”, where the distillery manages and ages custom-aged bourbon, rye or whiskey products in private 10-liter casks. The liquor will be bottled up according to each Cask Club Member's individual specifications.
In September, the Heritage Distilling Company installed its 5-ton copper and stainless steel still. The equipment, imported from Italy, will produce about 2,000 liters of liquor, and the Heritage Distilling Company is the first distillery in the country to use this type of system.
“It will be one of the largest still systems in the Pacific Northwest, and we are very proud of its efficiency and beauty,” Justin Stiefel said.
The still maker, Barison Industry, even sent Massimo Barison from Trento, Italy to help with the installation process.
Ever since the legalization of microdistillery in 2008, Stiefel said Washington has been leading the way in the craft distillery movement.
With the exception of rum and tequila, the state has the ingredients like grapes, grains, potatoes and corn to produce spirits.
“It’s like a little bread basket for distilling,” Justin Stiefel said.
Stiefel said he hopes their new business will help put Gig Harbor on the map, both regionally and internationally.
“When [people] come to the Seattle area and the Puget Sound, we want this to be one of the things that is a must-see, must-do experience,” he said.
For more information on the distillery, visit the Heritage Distilling Company website.