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Washington winemaker enters whiskey business with new Spokane distillery

Browne Spirits
Credit: Browne Family Distillery

SPOKANE, Wash. – Washington winemaker and Spokane native Andrew Browne is getting into the whiskey business. 

Browne, who owns Browne Family Vineyards, will be opening a new distillery in the Lilac City later this year. 

Browne Family Distillery will make limited-edition whiskey, bourbon and rye with bottles retailing between $40-$90. Ingredients, including rye, wheat and corn, will be sourced locally from across the state. Once the alcohol is removed from the fermented mash, the remaining grains will be distributed to Spokane farmers to feed their livestock. 

Aaron Kleinhelter, a born and raised Kentuckian, will be the master distiller. 

“Aaron perfected his skills just two miles from the Jim Bean distillery making small-batch, high-end and authentic spirits,” said Browne. “My family and I are grateful to have someone with such deep roots leading our charge into spirits in my hometown of Spokane.” 

“The success of Browne Family Vineyards in Washington and beyond has positioned themselves as a beacon of quality and creativity within the wine industry,” Kleinhelter said. “I value this opportunity to showcase my Kentucky roots and knowledge of spirits to produce some of the best and most unique spirits that the Pacific Northwest has seen. Like whiskey, we will only improve with age.”   

The distillery and tasting room will be located at 714 N Lee St. It is set to open sometime in November. 

There will also be a tasting room in downtown Bellevue, which will open on October 27. 

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