Yakima winery now adding brandy to the menu
YAKIMA, Wash.- Wine and spirits, it's a pair that is now being sold together at one local winery here in Yakima.
Wilridge Winery is the first winery in Yakima County to do this. Now along with the 24 wines offered there, winemaker and distiller Paul Beveridge has officially added brandy to their list.
The idea has many locals saying it's a great compromise for non-wine drinkers.
"It's convenient because my friends like to drink wine, they want me to go to the winery with them but I'm not a wine drinker, that way I have an option too," said local Casey Oldham.
Owner Paul Beveridge says the journey to getting the O.K. from state and federal liquor regulators wasn't easy, in fact it took over a decade to get it done.
"It's always been my dream to make some brandy. So we went and asked the liquor control board and they said no. They didn't like the idea of winery also being a distillery. It actually took me 15 years to get them to change their mind," said Beveridge.
Beveridge says this can be a new source to bringing in millions to Yakima's economy, and attract more tourist to the valley. Beveridge says it's already allowed him to create more jobs at his winery.
"It's definitely allowed us to hire another full-time employee. Once we get enough product we will have another full time person here," said Beveridge.
Beveridge says this is the new future, but it will be a slow progress here in the valley because of the time and money it takes to be able to sell the two in one location.
"We have the highest alcohol taxes in the United States. Which is really crazy when you consider we are the second biggest wine producer, the third biggest number of brewing, I think we are third on distilleries too," said Beveridge.
Beveridge says next fall they will add apple and pear brandy to the list.