Get an insider’s look at Seattle’s craft distilling industry

Seattle Central’s Craft Distilling Institute to offer classes starting this summer

A craft distilling boom has hit the nation, and its epicenter is Washington state, which has more spirit distilleries than any other state. And no city in the United States has more than Seattle, making it the perfect place for Seattle Central College’s new Craft Distilling Institute. In partnership with several local distilleries, the institute will offer a comprehensive range of courses beginning this summer that teach a variety of aspects of the spirit distilling process.

“There is something for everyone,” said Lisa Babinec, Interim Director of Seattle Central’s Innovations College, where the program will be offered. “We have introductory classes for those who want to see how their favorite spirit is made as well as more in-depth classes for those looking to advance in the industry.”

On tap are several categories of classes, ranging from one-day courses that offer a general overview of distilling particular spirit, to multiple-day workshops that offer a more hands-on experience. All workshops are conducted at partner distilleries in the area, including 2bar Spirits, Batch 206 Distillery, Captive Spirits Distilling, Copperworks Distilling Company, Oola Distillery, Sound Spirits Distillery and Sun Liquor Distillery. Each class ends with a tasting of the finished product.

Babinec recommends that those interested in an introduction to how their favorite spirit is made enroll in the One-Day Aficionado Workshop. For enthusiasts looking to enter or advance in the distilling industry, the Institute also offers more specialized classes that cover topics such as recipe experimentation and development and distillery business planning. A custom class is also available for individuals who want to create a 200 to 250-bottle batch of a private label spirit of their choice.

For those serious about getting into the distilling industry, Seattle Central is also proud to partner with the London-based Institute of Brewing & Distilling (IBD) to offer its Fundamentals of Distilling course. “Since we’ll be the only institution in the United States offering this Fundamentals class, we’re hoping to attract a national audience,” Babinec said.

This three-day workshop includes a detailed exploration of the science-based technical knowledge that industry professionals need to know and prepares students to take the IBD Fundamentals of Distilling exam, considered the gold-standard of accreditation in the industry.