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Hello from Virginia and Seattle

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My teens and early twenties had me in Seattle watching an explosion of "beer culture" with small micro breweries popping up in every 'hood and locals having real pride in the neighbourhood brewing. I moved to central Virginia, into a desert of beer. Over the last 7 years a dozen small breweries have popped up and there is a new excitement in the area for local beverages. I have been brewing beer for 8+ years with a simple set up. and have become quite good considering.

I really just developed a taste for bourbon in the last year and a half because of bourbon aged beers.

Richmond, VA has only 2 tiny distilleries for 1.3 million people. Cirrus makes just potato vodka (world class) and reservoir distilling makes 3 whiskeys, all real tasty but very expensive.

A couple of years ago Seattle changed a state law that allows special treatment of distillers that use 51% grains from washington state. Because of this special treatment there has been an explosion of craft distilling all over the state. Now Virginia softened restrictions on breweries and the law has implications on distilling in the state also.

I guess what I am getting at is, there is a renaissance in artisan distilling ready to swell up in my adopted home and I want to be part of it. It is also obvious to me that much of the equipment is shared with brewing and there is really an opportunity to co-op the development of brewing and distilling. I have volunteered at breweries in the past but my efforts to help out the local distillers have been rebuffed surprisingly. (moderately skilled labor for FREE!...no thanks) I visited a tiny hobby distillery in Washington state that was little more than a farmers shed and 2 bored retirees. They let me participate in a day's work and I really enjoyed it. But their goal to not die of boredom isn't really a business plan. They might as well make jam or apple butter to sell on the roadside. I would like to hook up with some growing breweries, and make small batch spirits that reflect the local agriculture and palate. I have been watching Catoctin Creek and Wasmund's (copper fox) impressive growth. And think the Troy and sons development is inspiring.

Educate me... and help me develop some relationships that will lead to understanding whether i should put this to bed or make a go of it.


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