[Image courtesy of: Sandstone Distillery Facebook]

Wannabe winos and aspiring distillers alike will find something to explore with a variety of tasting rooms, tours and classes around Thurston County. While plans brew for the recently proposed Craft Brewing and Distilling Center spearheaded by the City of Tumwater in partnership with South Puget Sound Community College (as recently detailed in The Olympian), chart your tasting tour with some of the ideas below. Leave the driving to the experts with a custom tour by Lifestyle Valet. For those who choose to self-tour, don’t forget to find a driver!

Black Gin

  • Blind Pig Spirits recently set up a tasting room in downtown Olympia to sample it’s five small batch products ranging from Apple Pie Moonshine to Single Malt Vodka. Tasters can take it a step further with the Moonshine 101 This hands-on workshop teaches distilling basics and includes a batch of booze and a t-shirt.
  • Sandstone Distillery in Tenino pairs distillery tours and tastings of its artisan spirits with a side of local history inspired by the region’s Sandstone quarries. Given the Bourdon family’s longtime roots in this region and also in honor of the industry for which the business is named, distiller John Bourdon cold-filters his Vodka through fractured sandstone. The result is a clean, crisp spirit with a true connection to its source. Make sure to ask for a peek of his new 1940’s era tank that’s currently being restored to its original glory. It’s a great story of local history coming back to life as told by KING 5 – watch for yourself at this link.
  • Situated conveniently in the Lacey Libation District, Salish Sea Organic Liqueurs serves up sips of its handcrafted organic liqueurs infused with flavors of herbs and fruit. With nearly 20 different flavors of small batch, organic goodness, tasters will find a variety of liqueurs to sample ranging savory sage or fennel to sweet rose petal or honeysuckle.
  • Fish Brewing Company in Olympia recently received the “Best Beer in the World” for Fish Tale Ale’s Beyond the Pale at the World Beer. Stop in to sample this award-winning ale, and choose from 15 other artisanal breweries on your South Sound Craft Crawl. This tour begins with a map of participating breweries that will stamp a special “Craft Crawler’s Course” passport at each stop. Collect nine stamps and redeem for a souvenir pint glass. Maps may be picked up at the Tacoma and Olympia visitor information centers, in addition to each brewery throughout the south sound. A full list of breweries and printable map and passport can be found at southsoundcraftcrawl.com.
  • If sipping fine wines is more your pace, don’t miss the South Sound Wine Trail. From the fancy prohibition-era tasting room at Medicine Creek Winery to Stottle Winery’s sleek spot, the six vintners on the trail offer award-winning sips and a unique northwest experience. Click here for a map that will help chart the course.

 Plan your getaway with a variety of guestrooms and lodging options detailed at www.visitolympia.com.  Connect on Facebook, Twitter (@VisitOlympia) and Instagram (@VisitOlympia).

Featured Event:

Washington’s Distiller’s Guild Presents: South Sound Spirits Gathering, March 12, 2016

South Sound Spirits Gathering - poster

As recently recommended by the experts at Seattle Magazine, this spirited event will feature 18 of the state’s top distillers serving sips of their finest craft, paired with bites from Thurston County’s restaurants. The fun takes place at the Olympic Flight Museum from 4 – 9 p.m. Early bird tickets are now available at the following link: www.brownpapertickets.com/event/2495620

Make a weekend out of it and check out the variety of libation vacation opportunities around Thurston County at www.visitolympia.com. Those staying at Tumwater’s La Quinta Inn & Suites, Best Western or Guesthouse Inn & Suites will enjoy complimentary round trip transportation to the South Sound Spirits Gathering between 3:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. Join us and raise a glass to our growing craft beverage crowd!

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