Sample local spirits at Snohomish distillery festival

  • By Jessi Loerch Herald Writer
  • Tuesday, January 29, 2013 4:46pm
  • Life

The love of all things local now extends to liquor.

Want local vodka? No problem.

Gin, whiskey, rum? You can find all of those and more at craft distilleries within a short drive.

Fans of craft spirits can taste a variety of them Friday and Saturday at the Snohomish on the Rocks Distillery Festival.

The festival in Snohomish will feature at least 20 distilleries, all showing off their creations. Visitors will get tickets to sample five spirits and talk to the creators.

Additionally, each distillery will offer a signature drink using one of their alcohols, for an additional fee. The drinks will be made by professional bartenders.

The event is a chance for distillers to take advantage of the momentum that has been building for craft distilleries, said Carolyn Eslick, the executive director for the event.

This is the second time the event has been held. The first, in April, was so popular that they have added additional tasting sessions and moved it to a larger venue. This year, the festival is at the Snohomish Events Center.

Also for the first time, thanks to a recent change in the law, distillers will be able to offer bottles of their spirits for sale at the event, Eslick said.

Ryan Hembree of Skip Rock Distillers in Snohomish will be at the event. “It’s a great opportunity to connect with local spirits customers and enthusiasts” who value hand-crafted local products, he said.

Hembree, who is the owner, distiller and self-described tank-washer at Skip Rock, said that “as a Snohomish businessperson, it’s great to see so many people come to town.”

Eslick and Hembree both said the event has benefited from the “buy local” movement. Fans of buying local will appreciate that many of the ingredients are from nearby. Skip Rock even makes Nocino, a walnut liqueur, which uses walnuts mostly from Hembree’s back yard. The Nocino will be available to sample at the festival.

A light dinner, catered by 907 Grill &Lounge and The Mobile Lunchbox, is included in the admission and other caterers will offer food for sale. There will be live music.

For the distillers themselves, the event includes roundtables and workshops to help them learn more about laws and financing options, and to help them run their businesses.

If you go

Tasting sessions: 6 to 9 p.m. Friday, 1 to 3 p.m. Saturday and 6 to 9 p.m. Saturday.

Tickets: $25 in advance or $30 at the door. Get tickets online at

Dinner will be served. Signature cocktails will be available for an additional fee. Bottles of spirits from the distilleries will be available for sale.

Participating distilleries

More in Life

Thai cookbook “Bangkok” brings it in Piglet Tournament face-off

In round three of Food52’s NCAA-like competition, “Bangkok” beats out “Auentico.”

Former TV journalist opens coffee, gelato and wine business

The Newsroom in Mill Creek also features events such as dancing and board game sessions.

A Snohomish chef charts a course to fresh and local cuisine

Whether he’s cooking or teaching, Cody Castiglia is committed to seasonal, local ingredients.

Family friendly events in Snohomish County and beyond

FUN & GAMES Native Culture Night: Skykomish Valley Indian Education families invite… Continue reading

‘13 Reasons Why’ cast issues video to air ahead of each season

The series tackles controversial issues that might not be for everyone.

Kelly Kate Warren: An injury ends her PCT hike

She was chosen by the Pacific Crest Trail Association to be a P3 representative for them, promoting positive trail etiquette.

Average black bean dip, improved: This one’s smoky and warm

It’s like a magnet as an appetizer at a party, but it also makes for a playful and nutritious meal.

‘Crown’ production company apologizes amid salary controversy

New York Daily News The production company behind “The Crown” has apologized… Continue reading

Most Read