This past Saturday my Husband and I were invited to bottle Vodka at Dry Fly Distilling by our friends Tricia and Joe. I’ve been wanting to get on the bottling list forever. It’s about as coveted as getting front row tickets to a Rolling Stones concert. The waiting list is about a year out to volunteer to bottle liquor. Yes really! So, when you have the chance, you have to JUMP and jump fast.
Dry Fly is a small craft distillery located in Spokane, WA that only uses local grains and botanicals to make their Vodka, Whiskey and Gin.
All of the spirits are stored in barrels like this one.
They are stored in racks on one side of the distillery. The green fly barrels on top are a top secret grain that’s supposedly going to rock the spirit world. 2 years from now it will be released. Not sure I can wait that long.
The bottling helpers were getting to know each other and checking out the cool items in the gift area.
I totally dig this shirt. If it would’ve said “Bourbon Girl” it would’ve been mine!
I loved this giant mural on the wall behind the stills.
Oh boy – time to get to work! This is the pallet of empty bottles that we filled. 12 bottles per box times a bagillion boxes. Ok, it wasn’t that many.
This is the “signing table”. Give people a Sharpie – and look what happens. Whoever drew this martini is my hero!
This was our cruise director – Patrick. Not to be confused with Donny which is what his shirt said.
Patrick gave us the low down on how to fill the bottles. Everyone got a station for a few cases and then switched.
The excess vodka from the bottling goes back into the pump. The “game” was to see how little you could get into the pump. That meant you were bottling fast and not letting the bottles sit too long. You need quick hands for this station.
After the bottles come off the filling station, they go to the “corker”. There’s no fancy shmancy corking machine here, just good ole forearm muscle.
See the measuring cup in front? That’s vodka that is used to fill any bottles that are not filled properly or to pour out the overfilled bottles.
It was hard not to drink it.
Then after corking it goes on to the capping. The caps look like little Dixie cups that fit over the top of the bottle.
“Fly to fly”. That was the term for lining up the fly on the cap to the fly on the bottle. Gotta make em purty!
Then on to the blow dryer on steroids. That’s Patrick’s words, not mine. Anyway, it shrinks the caps over the bottles. High tech, huh? I think that was my least favorite job. Although, by the time we switched stations I was getting pretty good at it. I do know my way around a blow dryer.
After the blow dryer – the bottles are pushed down to 2 people who put the batch number on and sign it. Yep, we got to sign our initials or whatever we wanted. It was really fun!
From there, the bottles get put in the empty boxes, sealed and stacked on a new pallet and are ready for distribution to your local liquor store.
Eager bottlers await the “go”.
Time to crank the 80’s music and git r dun!
One of the pallets we filled.
What a fun day was had. We laughed, we bottled, we danced, we sang Bobby Brown songs and we had a fantastic lunch! Thanks to Kent and Patrick for being great bottling hosts!
Many thanks to Kent, Don & Patrick for doing what you do! Long live Dry Fly Distilling!
p.s. – when you have Bourbon again, I’d love to come bottle! And buy one or 12. 🙂
Note: I was not asked by Dry Fly Distilling to write this post. All opinions and photographs are my own.