Category Archives: General

Washington State’s Repeal Day

This Friday, June 1st Washington state stores over 10,000 sq. feet will legally be allowed to sell liquor for the first time since prohibition. Although this issue has been hotly debated in the craft distilling world, we are very excited to see craft products available in more locations. Please support craft distillers by purchasing local spirits at a store near you!

Bottoms up Washington, here’s to our first Repeal Day!

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Brand Evolution

In the eight months since I announced the launch of my distillery, I’ve been working tirelessly to get the doors open. Like the majority of craft distillers, I came into this business because I love spirits and felt a pull to create them. There is something truly American about the desire to build and invent things.

Within the last month our progress has accelerated. Nearly all the pieces my team has been working so hard on have fallen into place.  I have finalized my recipe and am producing the best vodka I’ve ever tasted. After purchasing and installing a larger still, we are now running five times the volume and producing spirits six days a week. Lastly (and most excitingly), we have been working with the TTB and expect to have our label approved within the next 10 days. Once we are given the final thumbs up, we will release our label and begin selling immediately.

Surprisingly, over the course of these eight months, I’ve seen my company change in unexpected ways.  We’ve explored who we are as a distillery and have created a foundation for who we’ll be in the future. Just like our vodka has evolved into something better, so has our brand. We believe these changes should not only reflect on the inside, but on the outside as well. Before we release any product, we wanted to release this: The new Meriwether Distilling Company logo.

We wouldn’t want to you confuse our products with anything sub par.

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The beast is back!

The second-most-important member of the Meriwether Distilling Company family has returned. After a long La Nina ski season, the Beast will spend her summer vacation at the distillery. With perks like unlimited Bio Diesel and the occasion oversized car wash, we can confidently say this might be the Beast’s best summer yet.

Who wouldn’t want to spend summer vacation delivering booze?

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Approved!

I just received word this morning that Meriwether Distilling Company has been APPROVED for a Federal Distilled Spirits Permit (DSP)! This means we are now federally licensed and are only one small step away from producing alcohol. The federal paperwork is already in the mail and once the state receives a copy of it they will  issue our state permit. As soon as both the federal and state permits are in hand I can begin distilling! This should be sometime next week.

Cheers!

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Keeping Busy

This year has been a whirlwind!  We have been charging through the licensing process and are in the home stretch.  My applications have been sorted, signed, collated, stacked, amended, e-mailed, snail mailed, scanned, and faxed.  Now we play the waiting game… Anyone who knows me is aware that patience isn’t my strong suit.

In the meantime, every waking hour of the past two months has been spent organizing and assembling the distillery (hence the lack of blog posts.)  I’ve taken up welding, flooring, plumbing, engineering, and tactical forklift maneuvering.

Under construction: welding, flooring, plumbing, engineering, and tactical forklift maneuvering.

Once the tanks were moved into place, I constructed a stainless steel mezzanine. The elevated platform will allow me to access the manways of each tank throughout the fermentation process. The pallet racks are up and filling quickly.  On the branding side of things, our first label is nearly complete and I’m anxious to submit the final proof for TTB approval.

Completed mezzanine with 600 gallon tanks.

I’m currently waiting to hear back on a final condition from the TTB to complete my federal permit. Once my federal permit is granted, the Washington Liquor Control Board will issue my state permit.  These licenses will allow me to start distilling immediately. I’m hoping to achieve this final step by the end of next week.

Stay tuned for permitting information and the announcement of our first offering.  Trust me; it will be worth the wait.

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Moving Day

Unlike Christmas morning, moving day is usually associated with the anticipation and sheer dread that goes along with the day’s activities. Luckily, October 14, 2011 was the opposite. The day the majority of our still house equipment was delivered and moved into the distillery was preceded by the anticipation of a kid on Christmas Eve.

It was a particularly cold morning for October as I anxiously awaited my equipment’s arrival. Thanks to the guys from Omega Morgan and Nelson Trucking I didn’t have to wait long. The only thing more exhilarating than a few sips of whiskey on a cold day was the sight of two 53′ semi-truck trailers hauling my equipment.

It took three skilled professionals five hours to unload everything safely and another five hours to place the equipment inside. Luckily the day stayed dry and we were energized by an excellent lunch from Calamity Jane’s, a Georgetown favorite.

The crew unloading my tanks.

This is my new forklift. Quite possibly my favorite distillery purchase thus far. 

Carefully bringing the tanks into the distillery.

A special thanks to my new neighbors at the Seattle Wholesale Flower Growers Market. They greeted us warmly and shared their delicious homemade pumpkin bread. “What could go better than flowers and whiskey?” One grower stated. Good point. In my opinion, whiskey goes well with everything.

What could go better than flowers and whiskey?

With the milestone of moving completed, I’m now focused on accomplishing mundane tasks like organizing my space and properly hooking my equipment up to water and power.

“Whisky is liquid sunshine.” – George Bernard Shaw

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Meriwether Distilling Company

Georgetown.  Teeming with history, inhabited and frequented by outliers who walk to the beat of their own drum, Georgetown embodies Seattle’s past and cultural future.

It’s my pleasure to introduce the Meriwether Distilling Company.  Joining a long line of brewers and craftsman dating back to the pre-prohibition era, we make our home at the Original Rainier Brewery in the Georgetown district of Seattle.  In the tradition of these craftsmen, Meriwether Distilling Company is committed to using only the finest ingredients and artisan methods while blazing a trail of modern ingenuity.

We invite you to walk with us as we honor the rich history of distilling and establish our footprint in Seattle’s storied history of artisan entrepreneurs.

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