Island distillery grows | Kitsap Week

Imbibe: Bainbridge Organic Distillery doubles in size, and expands its operation.

A stream of spirits has run from Bainbridge Island for nearly five years thanks to Bainbridge Organic Distillers. Now, that stream is a river.

Bainbridge Organic Distillers is the only organic distillery in the state, and is now in the process of expanding its operation, and increasing the flow of its gin, vodka and whiskey throughout Washington and beyond.

“We’ve essentially doubled the space,” said Keith Barnes, owner of Bainbridge Organic Distillery. “We’ve taken over the second half of this building.”

Walls are being taken down inside the building at Coppertop Park on Bainbridge Island. The additional space will be used to increase production.

“We will be using it for maturation of whiskey and for a little bit of storage and other bottling supplies and unfinished spirits,” Barnes said. “As we go through this new year, we will put some new equipment in there, some new fermentors and processing equipment.”

The distillery currently has a 600-gallon still and a 500-gallon mash cooker and four 550-gallon open top fermentors. Barnes expects to add four more fermentors. He said adding another still may be possible, but he won’t decide on that until later this year.

“The goal is definitely to have the increased equipment and running a second shift, and increase capacity of all products,” he said.

Barnes said his goal is to double the distillery’s production by the end of 2015, with a target for producing 5,000-6,000 cases of spirits.

The distillery chiefly produces its Bainbridge Legacy Organic Vodka, Bainbridge Heritage Organic Doug Fir Gin, and Bainbridge Battle Point Organic Whiskey.

While its gin and vodka were more readily available in the past, the expansion could increase the distillery’s output of whiskey, which has only been available in limited releases. The whiskey goes through a two-year aging process, however, so increased availably will take some time, Barnes noted.

The expansion comes in tandem with other developments at the distillery. An increased marketing and sales effort began in January, and the distillery’s distribution is growing. Bainbridge organic spirits are currently available in Washington and California, but will soon be found in Oregon, Texas and Colorado. Barnes said

he recently received interest from distributors in New York and Michigan as well.

Followers of Bainbridge Organic Distillery can also look forward to some new spirits currently being crafted. Barnes is saying very little about the upcoming spirits, however, but did say that one is a bourbon.

“It’s kind of got a local angle to it,” Barnes said of the bourbon. “It’s called ‘Whiskey 40 Saloon,’ named after the

whiskey distillery that used to be above the Port Madison Mill here on the island. We are working on the formula for that now. It will take some time to get it matured.”

“We have another whiskey that is in barrels right now,” he said. “That’s an all barley whiskey. That also has a local angle.”

The new spirits have a high standard to follow. Bainbridge Legacy Organic Vodka was named “World’s Best Vodka” by the World Vodka Awards in April 2014. Battle Point Organic Whiskey won double gold and best of show at the American Distiller’s Festival in Portland, Oregon in November 2013. Battle Point Organic Whiskey was also honored in March 2014 with a gold medal in the Beverage Tasting Institute’s International Review Of Spirits.

The distillery is located at 9727 Coppertop Loop, Bainbridge Island, and neighbors Bainbridge Island Brewing and Fletcher Bay Winery.