Gateway: News

Heritage Distilling to open production/retail space in Tumwater

Heritage Distilling owner Justin Stiefel stands behind the bar of the company’s downtown Gig Harbor location shortly after it opened.
Heritage Distilling owner Justin Stiefel stands behind the bar of the company’s downtown Gig Harbor location shortly after it opened. Gateway file, 2014

Gig Harbor-based Heritage Distilling Company, Inc. has entered into an agreement with Craft District, LLC to occupy more than 11,000 square feet of production and retail space in the new Craft Brewing and Distilling Center in Tumwater beginning in 2018, the company announced Tuesday.

The new Heritage Distilling production facility will feature a custom-made twin 2,000 liter pot still system (4,000 liters total) with reflux column, along with multiple gin and micro stills. Capacity will be 150,000 proof gallons per year, the current Washington state maximum for craft licensees.

“We are thrilled to be part of the new Craft Brewing and Distilling Center in Tumwater, and to be an anchor tenant working with South Puget Sound Community College and others,” Justin Stiefel, CEO of Heritage Distilling Co., said in a release. “This area will be a center of excellence for the region and the nation for a diverse number of distilling and brewing certificate and degree programs. We thank Craft District, LLC, South Puget Sound Community College, the City of Tumwater, and the Port of Olympia, among many others, who have worked very hard to bring this vision to reality.

“Tumwater holds a special place in the Northwest for its history of craft beverage production. It is only fitting that a world class craft production and training facility, combining industry with the community college, helps to revitalize this proud tradition in Tumwater. As Washington’s largest independently-owned craft distillery, we feel it is imperative that we are part of this regionally and nationally focused program.”

Heritage Distilling’s facility will include a tasting room, retail operations, the distillery’s patented Cask Club and its unique and patent-pending hands on program called My Batch, where customers are involved in the making of their own spirits in the distillery under the guidance of Heritage’s distillers.

Production at the distillery will include whiskeys mashed, fermented and distilled on site using majority Washington grown grains. In addition, HDC’s full line up of vodkas, gins and flavored spirits, including Heritage’s Batch No. 12 line of spirits and BSB – Brown Sugar Bourbon, will be made on site.

Spirits will be aged on site and at various Heritage Distilling whiskey warehouses in the region currently under design and pre-construction.

The new facility will be designed by fi architecture of Gig Harbor, with Darrin Filand overseeing all aspects of design and implementation.

Site work has already begun and construction on the new facility is scheduled to be completed in fall 2018.

“We also want to thank the City of Gig Harbor and its residents who have supported us since we opened five years ago,” Stiefel said.

The company does not plan to leave Gig Harbor. In fact, it also announced that its Gig Harbor waterfront distillery and tasting room will double in size next spring as it expands its current space to include the existing McBeckland’s store. It is also consolidating all of its management, distribution and logistics under one new, larger roof in Gig Harbor while also maintaining spirits production there and adding a new large scale bulk whiskey barrel storage warehouse and management service.

“It will be one of the first craft whiskey barrel storage facilities in the US for aging and storing whiskey from various craft distillers around the country,” Stiefel said.

The new facility in Gig Harbor will be approximately 40,000 square feet and is targeted to open in late 2018.