A vodka distillery with a passion for glass art is moving its tasting room to Woodinville after 10 years in the Seattle neighborhood of Sodo.
Glass Distillery, which is the state’s only vodka-centric distillery, is opening its new tasting room just north of Woodinville Whiskey Company along State Route 202 in early September, 2021.
Founder and CEO Ian MacNeil said it makes sense to bring his business to Woodinville because his liquor is made from wine grapes.
“I feel like I’m finally coming home,” he said. “I don't think I can express how excited I am to be able to finally have a business that’s going to be part of Woodville.”
In 2012, MacNeil launched Glass Distillery in an old, deteriorating building. After spending nearly half a million dollars on renovations, he cites massive rent increases for the reason he is leaving Seattle.
“I'm literally walking away from it,” he said, referring to the Sodo tasting room.
While the new tasting room will be located in Woodinville, he said, the warehouse for finished products will remain in the Tukwila/Kent area. He intends to move the actual distillery to Walla Walla by the end of the year, he said.
MacNeil is no stranger to Woodinville. In fact, he’s been active in the wine scene for quite some time.
“My wife and I have lived in the Seattle area since 1996,” MacNeil said. “We have so many friends that live out in Woodinville,
He remembers when there were only about 20 wineries in Woodinville, he said. As he watched wine country grow, MacNeil said, he wanted to start a different type of business that still celebrates Washington wine.
Rather than add to the list of Washington wineries, MacNeil said, he started the vodka distillery with the goal to become “one of the pioneers in the industry.” According to him, the tasting room is also unique due to its glass art experience.
MacNeil, who serves on the board of directors for the Museum of Glass in Tacoma, said he is a huge fan of the studio glass movement in the Northwest. He said the new tasting room will feature a selection of hand-blown glassware on display inside and outside for guests to view, in addition to a fun menu of cocktails.
Most recently, his team has developed five ready-to-drink craft cocktails in a bottle. He plans to share a newly developed Bloody Mary mix at the new tasting room, he said. Plus, he added there will be a “limitless bar list of different cocktails.”
"It's something different for people to experience in the community of wine tasting,” MacNeil said.
Down the road, MacNeil aims to collaborate with local mixologists and bartenders in the Seattle metropolitan area who use his products. He wants to bring them to Woodinville as guests for several days in order to share new cocktail recipes through classes or other social events.
To learn more about Glass Distillery, visit https://glassvodka.com.