It wasn’t very long ago that going on a distillery tour in Seattle wasn’t even possible. A law passed in 2008 finally allowed craft distilleries to open up tasting rooms and sell their liquor. Since that time, distilleries have been popping up all over Washington. This new and growing industry brings a lot of curiosity, which is where Local Craft Tours come into play. As the premier distilling tour in Seattle, Local Craft Tours is not just a great way to taste your way through the city but also a fun way to learn about the growing craft distillery industry in Seattle.
Local Craft Tours offers a few different distillery tours (and they all sound like a blast), but I recently went on the Speakeasy Distillery Tour. This two and a half hour tour starts in downtown Seattle with stops at three different distilleries. On our tour, we visited Sound Spirits Distillery, Fremont Mischief and Letterpress Distilling. Depending on when you go on the Speakeasy Distillery Tour, you may skip one of those distilleries and visit 3 Howls Distillery and/or Copperworks Distilling instead.
We were chauffeured around town in a Mercedes-Benz Sprinter by Local Craft Tours founder Craig Krueger. He guided us from one distillery to the next, providing great history on the distilling industry and prohibition in Seattle. He also played awesome 1920s music in the van to really get you in the spirit of things.
To be honest, I was a little nervous about taste testing hard liquor. I don’t drink a lot of hard alcohol, and when I do it’s always mixed with something. The idea of drinking a bunch of hard liquor was intimidating. But Local Craft Tours makes it clear the tour isn’t a party bus. Rather, it’s an experience. The spirits are high quality and made with high quality ingredients. Plus, each tasting is small and you’re not expected to finish everything. In between distilleries, Craig served us craft cocktails and specialty foods, including gourmet popcorn, sausage and sauerkraut, and bacon and pancake flavored cupcakes. The food was thoughtfully paired with the spirits we tasted at each distillery along the way.
Not only do you get to taste the different spirits that each distillery makes, you also get a private look inside the process of making the liquor.
All three distilleries we visited on our tour were very different. Here is a quick rundown:
Our first stop was at Sound Spirits, the first craft distillery in Seattle since prohibition. We tasted six different spirits: Ebb + Flow Vodka, Ebb + Flow Gin, Sound Spirits Aquavit, Sound Spirits Old Tom Gin (my favorite!), Depth Cacao (made with Theo Chocolate) and Depth Menthe. It’s a small and simple operation at Sound Spirits. The founder and head distiller still keeps his day job as a Boeing Engineer, and you can tell he puts his whole heart in the distillery and process.
Our second stop on the tour was Fremont Mischief. Here, we tasted vodka, gin and a couple different whiskeys, including their famous John Jacob whiskey. I enjoyed their vodka so much that I bought a bottle to take home. A family run distillery, the owners of Fremont Mischief have been making spirits for 20 years. They actually moved to Canada to run a distillery there. Once they were allowed to have a craft distillery license in Washington, they moved back to Seattle and opened up shop.
Our final stop on the Local Craft Tours was Letterpress Distilling in SoDo. This distillery only makes two different spirits: vodka and limoncello. The owner got in the liquor business when he was just a kid. His grandfather had a liquor store in Rome and he remembers visiting throughout his youth. His Italian roots led to his love with limoncello. Using his own vodka as the base, real lemons, local honey and no food coloring, this limoncello was incredible and the perfect way to end the tour.
One of my favorite parts about Local Craft Tours was meeting the other people on the tour. Everyone in our group was friendly and there to have a fun time. It was also a good mix of locals and tourists, which I love to see! At the end of our tour, everyone was given either a beautiful glass cocktail shaker or an engraved flask from Local Craft Tours, along with recipes for a couple of cocktails to make at home. It was such a sweet gift to encourage people to continue enjoying the craft distillery industry in Seattle.
We had a blast on our Local Craft Tours experience. The spirits were tasty and the company was awesome. Whether you go with a group of friends or are looking for an out of the box date idea, this is a great option. Just make sure you tell them the Seattle Bloggers sent you.
Have you ever been on a Local Craft Tours? Have you checked out any of the distilleries we visited on our tour? We’d love to hear from you! Please leave a comment below or connect with us on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook. You can also check out Seattle Bloggers for more fun and awesome things to do in Seattle!