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DIY liquor at Heritage Distilling Co. in Gig Harbor

The still at Heritage Distillery Company in Gig Harbor. (Facebook)

Ever wonder what it takes to make your own bottle of whiskey? Now you can experiment with different flavors in your own backyard.

Justin and Jennifer Stiefel are opening Heritage Distilling Company in Gig Harbor this weekend.

The Stiefels tell Terry Jaymes and Providence Cicero on Let’s Eat that visiting the distillery is just like a winery, but with hard alcohol. Even if whiskey isn’t your poison, Heritage offers options for gin and vodka.

When you choose to make “My Batch,” you choose from a pre-approved recipe, help run a micro-version of Heritage’s larger still, and you hep bottle and label your liquor.

“If you love what you made, you can take some home and then let it age if you want,” explain the Stiefels.

Or they say if you want to become a Cask Club member, you can store your creation in a private 10 liter oak cask. You have full control to name the bottles, choose the proof, and how long it ages.

Schedules are set aside: Friday night is rye night and Saturday is bourbon night.

The Stiefels say some people have already inquired about aging vodka and they say they’re open for anything. “You can make vodka with anything you can ferment,” says Justin.

Jennifer says they’re trying to appeal to chefs and bartenders who want to develop their own product that may work with their restaurant or bar. Justin said a handful of restaurants have already requested a spot in the cask club.

If it all sounds like too much work, but you want to enjoy a whiskey, gin, or vodka made from local ingredients, the Stiefels are producing Washington’s Rye Whiskey, a local variation of George Washington’s original unaged Rye Whiskey.

The Stiefels are also promoting a line meant more for the ladies. They’re calling in Wherskey, taking the ‘his’ off the label.

Their products are sold in the tasting room and they’re reaching out to stores to begin distribution.

“This is a phenomenal idea,” says Terry.

Let’s Eat can be heard on KIRO Radio at 4 p.m. Available anytime ON DEMAND at MyNorthwest.com.

About the Author

Stephanie Klein

Stephanie joined the MyNorthwest.com team in February 2008. She has built the site into a two-time National Edward R. Murrow Award winner (Best Radio Website 2010, 2012). Email Stephanie at sklein@mynorthwest.com

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