Heritage Distilling Company (HDC) inaugurated its new distillery at the Talking Cedar brewery-restaurant facility in Grand Mound, Washington, US, in June 2020. Opened in partnership with the Chehalis Tribe Enterprises (CTE), the facility is the first legal alcohol distillery established on tribal land in the US.

HDC and the Chehalis Indian Tribe successfully lobbied Congress in 2018 to revoke an 1834 statute, banning distilleries in Indian Country. The groundbreaking ceremony of the distillery project was held in April 2019.

The Talking Cedar facility is owned and operated by Chehalis Tribal Enterprises. HDC is producing hand sanitiser at the distillery to meet the surge in demand for sanitiser, following the outbreak of the coronavirus (Covid-19).

Heritage Distilling Company’s new distillery location

The distillery is located on Chehalis Reservation land, directly off Interstate 5, Exit 88 in Rochester.

It is one of the largest craft distilleries west of the Mississippi River.

Heritage Distilling Company’s new distillery design and features

The new distilling facility is part of the 35,000ft² Talking Cedar facility, which houses a craft brewery, taproom, restaurant and event space. Spanning 15,000ft2, the distilling facility includes a tasting room and full spirits production. It has eight fermentation tanks for the production of spirits and hand sanitiser.

“Opened in partnership with the Chehalis Tribe Enterprises (CTE), the facility is the first legal alcohol distillery established on tribal land in the US.”

The distillery has eight 8,300-gallon fermentation tanks, a handcrafted Italian still and a cask room.

The guests at the distillery can participate in the company’s annual membership Cask Club, which enables registered members to create and age spirits in their own casks.

Another programme, called My Batch, is designed to enable visitors to create their own spirits with support from HDC’s distillers.

The annual production capacity of the distillery is 10,000 barrels of whiskey and approximately 1.5 million proof gallons of other spirits. The distillery produces whiskeys mashed, fermented and distilled, using mostly locally grown grains.

Talking Cedar also features daily tours, catering and retail sales. The 200-seat restaurant’s menu includes pub food, along with spirits and beer. The brewery makes craft beverages, using local ingredients, and sources water from an on-site well. It is equipped with a 60-barrel automated brewhouse and six 120-barrel fermenters to produce craft brews with local flavour.

Product portfolio

The Talking Cedar brewery offers Pale Ale, Double Juicy IPA, Kolsch, Whitewood Red Cap Cider, English IPA, Raspberry Blonde and Hefeweizen on tap.

The product portfolio of HDC covers gins, whiskeys, flavoured spirits and vodkas and includes Vanilla Vodka, Mango Vodka, Huckleberry Vodka, Batch 12 Whiskey, Brown Sugar Bourbon, Blood Orange Vodka, Lavender Vodka, Batch 12 Gin, and Ruby Red Grapefruit Vodka. The company offers more than 20 naturally flavoured vodkas.

Marketing commentary on Heritage Distilling Company

Heritage Distilling Company (HDC), which was opened in Gig Harbor, Washington, in 2012, is one of the top craft distilleries in the US. It is also the biggest independently owned craft distillery in Washington.

HDC operates tasting rooms and distilleries in six locations across Oregon and Washington. It also has a distribution network that covers all 50 states.

The American Distilling Institute awarded the distillery with several awards in the past six years.

The company’s BSB-Brown Sugar Bourbon received the World’s Best Flavoured Whisky award at Whisky Magazine’s World Whisky Awards event in London in 2018 and 2019.