How it came about…..
It’s been almost 1 year since we broke ground on the distillery at our home, but the process started years before. I thought I would share a few parts of the story.
About 7 years ago after watching the TV show Moonshiners I was talking about it with a good friend of mine. We both thought the show was fun and figured if those guys can do it, then so can us techy types.
Well, my buddy, who has about the most extensive network of contacts that I have ever seen, setup a meeting with a guy, a moonshiner guy. That Saturday we “helped” him do a “whiskey” run. “Helped” was more watching and sampling cuts as the juice dripped from his 10 gallon homemade still. The quality of the product when proofed down was terrific. We learned tons, a few weeks later we again “helped” him “mash in” and do another run. Learned even more.
To make a long story short, that’s the genesis of my distilling education. Over the following years, I have been fortunate to have had the opportunity to experiment with many people, researched and took courses. I became fascinated with distilling. My real-world job requires a high level of technical skills but to really excel you have to allow yourself to think creatively to provide solutions. For me, craft distilling presents a great blend of technical as well as creative artistry. I’m hooked.
With retirement looming, I thought opening a distillery would be an excellent way to share my passion, and maybe make a few bucks at the same time. So Karen and I chatted about it and well we decided to go for it. About 4 years ago we decided we were going to do this thing for real and started our search for a piece of property which we could live on and build the distillery. It had to be special, right zoning, right setting, access to great water, etc. A little over 3 years ago we found just the place here in the beautiful Clearview area of Snohomish. A little over 2 acres of a park like setting, beautiful trees, large garage/shop and sits on top of an aquifer good to go right? LOL.. More on that later.
John Wohlfert, Distiller