Washington Distillers Guild

Washington Distillers Guild

If you’ve ever tasted spirits from your local distillery, you’ll know just how important it is to keep championing local businesses.

Although locals do a great job of supporting local distilleries, each state usually benefits from its own distiller’s guild, which goes the extra mile to make local distilleries known, and work with legislators to improve business. 

The Washington Guild is one such organizaton, and in this article, we’ll be walking you through everything you need to know about the guild, including what it is, how to join, and more. 

What Is The Washington Distillers Guild? 

The Washington Distillers Guild is a non-profit organization that, like other guilds, was established to help promote the awareness and success of local distilleries in the state.

The Washington Distillers Guild works with the local community to provide education, awareness, and push legislative efforts to boost the success of the local industry. 

How Can I Join The Washington Distillers Guild? 

To become a member of the Washington Distillers Guild, simply fill out an intake form on their website, and wait for a response.

Licensed distillers can opt for a traditional membership, and those who are not a part of the industry but are aligned with their goals can apply for an associate membership. The current annual cost of a guild membership is $200. 

Benefits of joining the Washington Distillers Guild include: 

    • Enhanced education: Members of the guild will have the opportunity to learn from each other, as well as other consumers, industry specialists, regulators, and more.
    • Advocacy: The guild will represent all local business members in legislative proceedings, giving them a greater chance to get their voices heard.
    • Events: Members will also be invited to take part in events, including exclusive seasonal events accessible to members only.
    • Discounted goods: The Washington Distillers Guild is able to arrange unique deals with suppliers, which means members can receive great value discounts when they purchase materials and equipment.
    • Cheaper services: The guild also facilitates unique deals with other service providers, meaning members can access free or reduced marketing materials, insurance, management services, and much more. 

What Is The Washington Distillery Trail? 

The Washington Distillers Guild has also created The Washington Distillery Trail to help promote the abundance of unique distilleries in the area.

The Washington Distillery Trail is partnered with a  number of distilleries around Washington, including those in the Southwest, Southeast, Northwest, Northeast, Islands, and Greater Seattle. 

To take part in the Distillery Trail, start by choosing your chosen spirit (agave, brandy, gin, vodka, whiskey, or something else), and choose which local distilleries you’d like to visit.

Ideally, you should create an online account with the Washington Distillery Trail to save your preferred distilleries to your favorites folder. 

Then, once you’ve chosen your spirits and distilleries, use the maps and other resources provided by the trail to plan a trip, try the spirits, and learn more about the inner workings of the distilleries.

This isn’t just rewarding for distillery lovers, but it’s also great for local businesses that will benefit from increased exposure and profit – which is just what the distillers guild hopes to achieve! 

Washington Distillers Guild: Role In The Pandemic 

When the pandemic hit our shores, distilleries were barely producing their usual collection of spirits. The Washington Distillers Guild, established in 2008, wanted to do something to help those on the frontlines.

Several members of the organization came together to convert the operations in their distilleries so that they could produce thousands of gallons of hand sanitizer and help their local communities. 

Thanks to the efforts of the Washington Distillers Guild the Trade and Tariff Bureau went into partnership with the FDA to give distilleries the powers needed to produce hand sanitizer, and distribute it to hospitals and other healthcare providers throughout the country.

The Guild approached a number of small distilleries in the state, and many agreed to get on board with the initiative. 

State Fees

In Washington, you can choose from a standard distillers license or a micro-distillery license, depending on your needs. A standard license will cost you approximately $2,100 a year, while a micro license costs just $100. 

Note: a micro-distillery license will allow your distillery to produce around 150,000 proof gallons of alcohol per year, and you’ll need at least 50% of your materials to be grown in Washington state. 

Washington Distillers Guild (1)

Licensing Requirements 

When you set up a distillery in Washington, you’ll need access to more than one license to be able to manufacture spirits legally in the state. Here are some of the federal licenses you may need, and remember, you will also need to adhere to any relevant state requirements: 

  • TTB 5110.41 basic permit 
  • TTB 5100.24 spirit plant 
  • TTB 5100.24 request will be required if you’re manufacturing ethanol fuel 

Distillery Laws/Restrictions

  • Craft distilleries may offer no more than two ounces per person, per day (this can be charged or free of charge)
  • Employees involved in alcohol sampling must carry a mandatory alcohol server training permit, and samples must be reported on the Craft Distillery Tax Form 
  • No person under the age of twenty-one should be on the premises of the distillery, or in the tasting room (this includes off-site tasting rooms)
  • At least half of the raw materials used in the production of your alcohol must be grown in Washington 

How Many Distilleries Are In Washington? 

Washington is thought to be home to over 100 distilleries, all producing everything from malt whiskey to gin. The area is all home to a variety of local grains, spices, and clean water which give all Washington spirits their own unique flavors.

Distilleries work in partnership with local farmers to produce the best-quality locally-produced spirits, which makes Washington a real stand-out distillery hotspot in the states. 

Some of the most popular distilleries in the state include: 

  • James Bay Distillers Ltd
  • Heritage Distilling Company 
  • Bad Dog Distillery 
  • Old Soldier Distillery 
  • Chambers Bay Distillery
  • Chuckanut Bay Distillery 
  • Sandstone Distillery 
  • Temple Distilling Company 
  • Nightside Distillery 
  • Quartz Mountain Distillers 

The Washington Distillers Guild currently has 42members. Here is the list of all Washington distilleries that are part of the Washington Distillers Guild:

  • 2Bar Spirits in Seattle, Washington
  • 3 Howls in in Seattle, Washington
  • Admiralty Distillers in Port Townsend, Washington
  • Adrift Distillers in Long Beach, Washington
  • Bainbridge Organic Distillers in Bainbridge Island, Washington
  • Batch 206 in Seattle, Washington
  • BelleWood Distilling in Lynden, Washington
  • Black Heron Spirits in West Richland, Washington
  • Chambers Bay Distillery in University Place, Washington
  • Chuckanut Bay Distillery in Bellingham, Washington
  • Copperworks Distilling Company in Seattle, Washington
  • Dry Fly Distilling in Spokane, Washington
  • Four Leaf Spirits in Woodinville, Washington
  • Fremont Mischief Distillery in Seattle, Washington
  • Glass Distillery in Seattle, Washington
  • Heritage Distilling Company- Ballard Location in Seattle, Washington
  • Heritage Distilling Company- Flagship Location in Gig Harbor, Washington
  • Heritage Distilling Company- Roslyn Location in Roslyn, Washington
  • Heritage Distilling Company- Waterfront Location in Gig Harbor, Washington
  • James Bay Distillers, LTD in Everett, Washington
  • JP Trodden Distilling in Snohomish, Washington
  • Letterpress Distilling in Seattle, Washington
  • Mastrogiannis Distillery in Lakewood, Washington
  • Nightside Distillery in Edgewood, Washington
  • Old Ballard Liquor Company in Seattle, Washington
  • OOLA Distillery in Seattle, Washington
  • Pacific Distillery in Woodinville, Washington
  • Pursuit Distilling Company in Enumclaw, Washington
  • Quartz Mountain Distillers in Vancouver, Washington
  • Sandstone Distillery in Tenino, Washington
  • Scratch Distillery in Edmonds, Washington
  • Seaspirits Distillery in Woodinville, Washington
  • Sidetrack Distillery in Kent, Washington
  • Skip Rock Distillers in Snohomish, .Washington
  • Skunk Brothers Spirits in Stevenson, Washington
  • Solar Spirits Distillery in Richland, Washington
  • Temple Distilling Company in Lynwood, Washington
  • Westland Distillery in Seattle, Washington
  • Wildwood Spirits Company in Bothell, Washington
  • Wohlfert Craft Distilling in Snohomish, Washington
  • Woodinville Whiskey Company in Woodinville, Washington
  • XO Alambic in Dayton, Washington

The Bottom Line 

The Washington Distillers Guild works hard to put Washington’s small distilleries on the map, and encourage locals to spread the word. Many states have their own guilds, and these non-profit organizations are at the heart of the local distilling economy.

Washington Distillers Guild has shown just how important it is to get behind local businesses and work with lawmakers to ensure distillers survive the ebbs and flows of business. 

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