Saturday, May 31, 2014

Made in Darrington: Whiskey Ridge

   The catastrophic landslide in Oso last month brought the nearest incorporated town into the news, too: Darrington, Wash.  Until the mountain fell, the biggest news in Darrington this spring was the planned opening of the Whiskey Ridge Brewing Co.

   This is smaller than nano, a ten-gallon brew kettle made out of a recycled keg.  From little acorns,
mighty oaks have been known to grow.  While Darrington is a mill town, the kind of place where a guy moves up from PBR or Rainier to Bud for special occasions, a craft brewery can make it in such a setting.  Mill City Brew Werks in Camas is a good example.  A strong sense of community, even before the mudsliide, should help.  And the plans for the building--it had been the city hall, the fire hall, the library in various municipal applications--has left it with a good hardwood floor upstairs and the option of converting that space into a nice pub and restaurant.
   Jack Hatley owns and runs the brewery with his wife.  The building's owner intends to put a distillery in a space to the side, and the option of a shot and a pint, hand crafted, could be a good draw.

   Whiskey Ridge is the kind of start-up you have to root for.  The highway from Arlington will reopen someday soon; for now access is just off the North Cascades highway, SR 20.

(Visited 5/22/14)

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