We are three business partners: Rich Anderson and Suzy and Hawk Pingree. We all work together to pick our local apples, press them and make wonderful, small batch ciders and spirits here on San Juan Island.
The first release of our San Juan Island Distillery Apple Brandy in 2014 won gold and best in class from the American Craft Spirits Association, as well as best in class from the American Distilling Institute. Which means we made the best craft-distilled apple brandy in the U.S.
We hope that you will join us for a tasting at the Distillery. We are just under a mile Southwest from Roche Harbor Resort.
Our beautiful Adolf Adrian pot still is hand made in Germany, all hammered copper inside and out, and it is a joy to keep polished. We put 50 gallons of our Westcott Bay Cider into the still and heat it up very slowly to get the best quality Apple Eau de Vie (the fresh fruit distillate) we can. A typical 6 to 8 hour run produces about a gallon of 80% ethanol (hearts). Most of this goes into old 59 gallon French Limousin oak barrels for aging.
Our dream is to make apple brandy and exceptional gins with local apples, many of which we grow and harvest in our orchard at Westcott Bay Cider
The climate in the San Juan Islands is very similar to the climate in Normandy, where fine ciders and Calvados are made. We are using techniques that those French farmers use for our production – old fine French Limousin oak barrels, reconditioned with Pommeau (a mix of cider, fresh apple juice and Apple Eau de Vie) from our ciderworks.
Our micro batch, limited quantity spirits give us the ability to experiment and play with our flavors to maximize quality. We distribute our spirits locally to island stores, but they are not available outside the San Juan Islands, with a few exceptions (Wine World in Wallingford, Esquin in Sodo, Total Wine in Bellevue and Lynnwood and Capco in West Seattle).
Come to San Juan Island to experience our tasting room, gorgeous views, exceptional climate, and all of the delicious spirits we produce.
Tastings are every Saturday from 1 to 4 pm. Try our apple-based spirits, including seasonal gins, liqueurs and three styles of cider. Email us to make an appointment, if you can’t make it on a Saturday.