The only thing Bavarian in Blue Spirits Distilling is the brawny copper still standing soberly in the back of the distillery tasting room. The painstakingly hand-hammered work of functional art from Oberkirch, Germany, was conceived by Seattle architect and entrepreneur Jeff Soehren.
Changes in Washington state laws regulating alcohol distillation in 2008 opened the way for craft distillers such as Soehren, who began working on the design for his still soon after. It was several more years until the finished product was delivered in Leavenworth in April of this year. (Blue Spirits began distilling out of a Chelan location in 2012.) The Leavenworth location opened Aug. 1 and in contrast to the prevailing Leavenworth alpenkitsch, the Northwest modern interior has abundant natural light, metal and glass in an industrial studio environment and the spirits are uniquely local. Blue Spirits vodka, whiskey, rum and tequila are all distilled with Cascade glacier-fed Lake Chelan waters and will soon be hyperlocal when they begin distilling with Icicle Creek water in coming months (920 Front St.; bluespiritsdistilling.com or 206-310-3945).