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The Beacon Magazine

Suds & Spirits

There's a whole lot of brewing and distilling going on


This story is included in the latest edition of The Beacon Magazine. The free magazine is available at select locations in Edmonds.

Did you know that Edmonds was at the center of the bootleg trade during prohibition? Yup, small boats would pull up to the shore at Brackett’s Landing, late at night, and load crate after crate of spirits into the waiting cars and wagons.

Some of the city’s local establishments (Engel’s Pub and Daphnes) have basement storage sites where, allegedly, alcoholic beverages were still available. In other words, south Snohomish County – including Mukilteo and Mill Creek – has always liked a good drink.

Over the past few decades, the definition of a good drink has, at the very least, expanded. Most of us remember a time when there were only a handful of choices in beer or spirits. The liquor sections of stores or liquor stores themselves were much smaller. Different establishments sold beer brands based on clientele, food, and even ambiance.

You could say the trend of craft beer and spirits is a form of premiumization – motivating consumers to pay more for products – or dare I say, the gentrification of booze. When you ask brewers and distillers around here, however, they would say craft or small batch production means small businesses – run by your friends and neighbors – that focus on using local ingredients to create the highest quality product.

Industry experts say that craft brewing and small-batch distilling will continue to create new trends to remain competitive, and Washington state will continue to have a large role in that innovation. Previously overshadowed by winemakers all around us, Snohomish County is now home to some of the most innovative and creative small brewers and distillers in the region.

Many of the reasons that Washington developed its reputation as a hotbed of craft brewing have also contributed to its success in distilling locally grown grains (including historic varieties) and local ingredients for every type of beer or spirit.

Washington’s renowned agricultural regions mean access to not only these grains but also botanicals and spices for gins and liqueurs, as well as clean water, to contribute to the remarkable beers and spirits being created so close to home.

What is the difference between brewing and distilling, you might ask?

Well, ingredients, of course, but in the end, it all comes down to the combination of steps to the crafting process, including malting, milling, mashing, lautering, boiling, fermenting, filtering, and distilling.

In both brewing and distilling, America has seen the emergence of regional styles as a result of the explosion of craft breweries and distilleries. And Washington is known for its willingness to experiment with flavors and processes.

Learning more about these and more of our fantastic Washington state distilleries and breweries is easier than you think.

The Washington Distillery Trail will take you to more than 100 craft distilling locations, everywhere from rural farms to urban centers, and the vast majority are within a 75-mile radius of Seattle. 

And check out  Washington Brewers Guild.

So now let’s take a little journey around Snohomish County and learn more about some of our local craft breweries and distilleries.


Tapped Public House: With locations in both Mukilteo and Mill Creek, Tapped is a local favorite for sure. Their mantra is, “Connecting people and community through an exceptional food and beverage experience,” and they do that fantastically well.

Whether you are there for the beer, cider, or wine or to add one of their many delicious bites, the choices are of the highest quality from local purveyors. Everyone inside seems relaxed and happy, and that means a lot of happy people because you never go into Tapped when it is not busy.

One satisfied patron said, “It is always busy like this after work, but someone will always offer you a seat and the food is as good as the beer.” Tapped has a large and dedicated following, and with every new visitor, their fans grow. When you do hospitality right – creating new experiences and consistent quality – people take notice. 

Tapped Mukilteo: 10809 Mukilteo Speedway
Tapped Mill Creek: 13215 39th Ave. SE at The Shops at the Farm.

Diamond Knot Craft Brewing: Snohomish County’s oldest continually operating brewery (30 years), started in Mukilteo and has locations there and in Mountlake Terrace. Bob Maphet and Brian Sollenberger originally started the business as “a hobby that went wildly out of control” but ended up producing some pretty fine beers.

Diamond Knot produces more than 600 barrels of beer a month these days, and their patrons are lovingly referred to as “knotheads.” You can visit their taproom and brewery, their brewpub, or their brewery and alehouse, and learn a lot about brewing good beer. 

Diamond Knot Mukilteo: 621 Front St., Mukilteo
Diamond Knot Production Brewery and Taproom (Mukilteo): 4602 Chennault Beach Road, Mukilteo
Diamond Knot Mountlake Terrace: 5602 232nd St. SW, Mountlake Terrace

Salish Sea Brewing & Boathouse: Since the first brewhouse opened in Harbor Square decades ago, Edmonds has attracted more expert brewers, and thus beer enthusiasts, to expand the town’s beer-loving reputation.

That love of beer, and community, is what brought together two Edmonds brewmasters, Jeff and Erika Barnett. They met in college and later opened their first brewery and taproom in 2013 and quickly became the local favorite for in-house brews, a selection of well-known local beers and ciders, and tasty pub food.

Barnett said he is determined to offer spaces where people feel comfortable “bringing friends and family and also meeting new people, like a public house.”

Salish Sea Brewing Company: 518 Dayton St., Edmonds
Boathouse Taproom: 190 W. Dayton St. in Harbor Square, Edmonds

Other breweries worth your time

Gallaghers’ Where-U-Brew: 190 W. Dayton St. in Harbor Square, Edmonds
Scuttlebutt Brewing Co.: 1205 Craftsman
Way, #101, Everett
Lazy Boy Brewing: 715 100th St. SE, Everett
Hemlock State Brewing Co.: 23601 56th Ave. W, #400,  Mountlake Terrace
Audacity Brewing: 1208 10th St., #C, Snohomish
Haywire Brewing Co.: 738 Rainier St., Snohomish
Sound to Summit Brewing: 1830 Bickford
Ave., #111, Snohomish
Spada Farmhouse Brewing: 709 First St., Snohomish


Scratch Distillery: Edmonds is proud of its homegrown distillery, brought to us by Kim and Bryan Karrick. This beautiful distillery and tasting room pays homage to gin and all things spirits and the art of creating spirits from scratch, with a passion for creating spirits and cocktails with finesse and care from fresh, local ingredients.

Beyond the floor-to-ceiling glass walls, visitors can marvel at the stunning Kothe distilling machinery imported from Germany. Sit at the bar and choose from a selection of unique cocktails or a tasting menu of their spirits.

Owner and lead distiller Kim Karrick says her biggest surprise is how much the business has expanded.

“I started with the idea of making everything truly from scratch – doing our own mash, fermentation, distillation, infusions, etc., but only planned on making a base vodka that would be sold on its own and infused into two different flagship gins.”

Today, Scratch makes about 30 products – five vodkas, five gins, four whiskeys, three aquavits, eight liqueurs, apple brandy, and now rum, and a few seasonal releases that come and go.

Scratch’s list of spirits continues to expand, developed from intricate combinations of botanicals, and Scratch patrons continue to wait expectantly for each new arrival.

Scratch: Salish Crossing, 190 Sunset Ave S., Edmonds.

James Bay Distillers: The craft distillery, near two runways at Paine Field, is a spirits manufacturer and exporter of super premium Canadian, Scotch and American whiskeys, gins, vodka, and finocchietto.

Co-founders Ernest and Leigh Troth select ingredients local to Everett and Mukilteo whenever possible, prefer organic ingredients and botanicals, and strive to create spirits that are the best in their category.

Celebrating its fifth anniversary in September 2024, James Bay has 10 spirits rated 90-points or higher, with four “double-gold” medal winners, and one Whiskey of the Year.

James Bay Distillers: 3101 111th St. SW, #B, Everett

Skip Rock Distillers: Like Scratch, Skip Rock Distillers produces every bottle from scratch, using local ingredients wherever possible. Created in 2009 by Snohomish natives Ryan and Julie Hembree, Skip Rock Distillers quickly became a well-known brand in the Pacific Northwest and beyond.

They want to make sure they purchase their ingredients from farmers who produce the highest quality crops. Skip Rock – in historic downtown Snohomish – prides itself on creating unique, nuanced, and balanced spirits, all hand-produced in small batches, ensuring optimum flavor and quality.

Skip Rock Distillers: 104 Ave. C, Snohomish. Website: 

Bad Dog Distillery: A little further north in Arlington, David and Shelly McGlothern founded Bad Dog Distillery in 2012,  two more pioneers in bringing spirits to Snohomish County. As focused on their community as they are their distillery, they work to provide both a great product and a sense of pride and togetherness for their patrons and neighbors.

The proof is in the spirit, and you can visit their distillery to prove it. To Bad Dog, “Staying local is very important to us so everything we use is from Washington state.”

Bad Dog Distillery: 19109 63rd Ave. NE, #1A, Arlington. 

Other distilleries worth your time

Bluewater Organic Distilling: 1205 Craftsman Way, #109, Everett. Includes the Voyaging Bar, a distillery-direct mobile bar van delivering signature craft cocktails.

Temple Distilling Company: 19231 36th Ave., #F,  Lynnwood

Wohlfert Craft Distilling: 17236 Snohomish Ave., Snohomish

JP Trodden Distilling: 9206 200th St. SE, Snohomish 


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