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Local spirits of Christmas presents

Craft alcohol this holiday

Heritage Distilling Company’s 2016 Spirits Advent Calendar is a unique way to count down the days to Christmas. Photo credit: Heritage Distilling Company

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Looking for something unique to put under the tree? Local craft distilleries offer options for even those hard-to-buy-for friends and family.

Heritage Distilling Company

The Heritage Distilling Company, located in Gig Harbor, has a unique way to count down the days to Christmas: Its 2016 Spirits Advent Calendar was recently released to area markets. This gaily decorated box contains 24 separate compartments, each holding a mini-bottle of one of Heritage's 11 handcrafted spirits, including Brown Sugar Bourbon, Elk Rider Bourbon, Elk Rider Vodka, Batch #12 Vodka, Batch #12 Bourbon, or one of their six flavored vodkas - coffee, grapefruit, orange, mango, huckleberry or vanilla. A list of participating outlets is on the website at

Flagship location: open 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday-Wednesday; 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., Thursday-Saturday; closed Sunday, 3207 57th St. Ct. NW, Gig Harbor, 253.509.0008

Waterfront location: open 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., Monday-Thursday; 11 a.m. to 8 p.m., Thursday-Saturday; 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., Sunday, 3118 Harborview Dr., Gig Harbor, 253.514.8120

If the gift of experience is more appealing, two area distilleries offer opportunities to learn about the craft distilling process first-hand:

Sandstone Distillery

Sandstone Distillery in Tenino offers an opportunity for one, two or three lucky people to be a "Distiller for a Day." This is a "hands-on ... grain to bottle" experience featuring 100 percent locally sourced grains. Spirit tasting and vouchers for an upcoming Sandstone Bottling Party are included. To learn more, visit the Sandstone Distillery website at

Open noon to 5 p.m., Thursday-Monday; closed Tuesday and Wednesday, 842 Wright Rd. SE, Tacoma, 360.239.7272

Blind Pig Spirits

The "Moonshine 101 Hands on Experience" at Blind Pig Spirits in Olympia is a three-hour class that lets participants experience every step of the moonshine process, from barley mashing, to yeast pitching, to fermentation, to cutting and bottling. There's even a crash course on how to run an actual still. Tuition includes a bottle of Blind Pig's handcrafted moonshine and a commemorative T-shirt. All the particulars are available on their website:

Open 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., Friday and Saturday; noon to 5 p.m., Sunday; closed Monday-Thursday, 222 Capitol Way N., #111, Olympia, 360.628.8259

On the other hand, these two distilleries offer one-of-a-kind gifts.

Mastrogianni Distillery

For a unique gift idea, check out Lakewood's Mastrogianni Distillery, which makes authentic, locally produced Ouzo - a tasty Greek liqueur made from distilled wine and spices like anise seed, orange peel, fennel, coriander and cinnamon. Throw in a "Distillery Nation" T-shirt for a gift they won't soon forget.

Open noon to 5 p.m., Saturday, 8016 Durango St. SW, #B10, Lakewood, 206.701.9202

Chamber's Bay Distillery

Finally, for that hard-to-please person who has everything, how about a membership in Chamber's Bay Distillery's "Greenhorn Barrel Club?" For just under $1,500, reserve 50 bottles of Chamber's Bay's limited-run Greenhorn Bourbon at a significant discount, along with a personalized barrel you can visit from time to time, have the opportunity to assist in bottling, and score invitations to Chamber's Bay's pre-release events. Find out more at

Open 4 p.m.-7 p.m., Wednesday-Friday; 2 p.m.-7 p.m., Saturday; closed Sunday-Tuesday, 2013 70th Ave. W., University Place, 253.292.5962

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