Where to Host your Next Party: A Distillery

The increase of distilleries in our state has brought an increase to intriguing event spaces

By Seattle Mag


November 2, 2015

This article originally appeared in the November 2015 issue of Seattle Magazine.

While the core result of our state’s distillery explosion has been the proliferation of a host of delicious locally made spirits and liqueurs, it’s also brought an increase in intriguing event spaces, with a number of well-designed distilleries being available for parties of all kinds, from weddings to corporate shindigs. Much like the distilled and the bottled beauties their proprietors release, each space also has its own particular personality. One vital detail to note, given the flammables: no candles in the actual distilleries!

Sidetrack Distillery

Kent, 27010 78th Ave. S; 206.963.5079; sidetrackdistillery.com
Located within the lazy river farm on the banks of the Green River outside of Kent, Sidetrack’s beautifully restored barn features concrete floors, wood-plank walls and strings of twinkle-light adornment. Situated next to the actual distillery, this wonderful summer wedding space (it’s available June through September) seats 120, and with the generous lawn and surrounding gardens, delivers a great country-chic feel while still being near the city. It also has sweet little cottages, one for brides and one for grooms to prep and relax within. You’ll need to make your own catering arrangements, and while the tasting room—where you can sample Sidetrack’s fruit, herb and spice liqueurs and eaux de vive, including the singular shiso and lemon verbena liqueurs—isn’t included as part of the space, it can be opened if guests want a tasting.
Westland Distillery
SoDo, 2931 First Ave. S, Suite B; 206.767.7250; westlanddistillery.com

Residing just outside of downtown in SoDo, this distillery, which features multiple event spaces (including a large “feasting area” in the cask room; a space in the tasting room well-suited to a cocktail-party type of gathering; and the Billiard Loft, which has a more casual ambiance and is good for smaller parties), is a fantastic mix of logging camp and industrial charm, in a refurbished building that’s been around since 1919. Together, the spaces fit 150 for a seated event and 300 for a standing reception, using both the tasting room and the cask room. The spaces are flexible enough for everything from corporate presentations to weddings to large cocktail receptions. (The distillery works with six local caterers.) It’s also possible to have a tour of the distillery as well as tastings, to learn more about Westland’s American single malt whiskey selection.

Woodinville Whiskey Co.
Woodinville, 14509 Woodinville-Redmond Road NE; 425.486.1199; woodinvillewhiskeyco.com

Around the corner from the chateau ste. michelle winery, Woodinville Whiskey’s Barrel Loft event space is a modern yet rustically charming spot, that accommodates as many as 75 guests indoors and 150 if reserving exclusive use of both the indoor space and the outdoor area shared with The Hollywood Tavern (also the exclusive caterer). This outdoor area is dotted with fire pits and wood tables, and blocked from restaurant traffic for events. The Barrel Loft is a great spot for weddings, birthdays and other personal celebrations, but ideal for corporate events, too. You can take tours of the space during the event, and partake in whiskey tastings, which could include its recently released five-year-old flagship straight bourbon whiskey.
Bluewater Organic Distilling
Everett, 1205 Craftsman Way, Suite 109; 425.404.1408; bluewaterdistilling.com
When building a sparkling new distillery for its existing business on the Everett waterfront, Bluewater Organic Distilling added an expanded production area, a retail store, a restaurant and bar (a welcome addition, and perhaps the harbinger of other distillery bars to come), and an expanded event space—all in a bold Northwest metal and wood style with a view over the water. The event space accommodates from 30 to 80 people, though it can be opened up to include the production area, which takes the number to 150. The Bluewater restaurant serves cocktails featuring the spirits made on-site as well as other local distillery products, and the menu has a Northwest beach bar aesthetic, leaning toward seafood and with excellent local oysters, making it a great spot for cocktail parties and receptions. If it’s a spirits-loving group you’re hosting, tastings and tours can be a part of any event.