Washington gets state's first potato vodka

SNOHOMISH, WA -- Many craft disillers are making their own vodkas, but most use a grain mixture. The ​Skip Rock Distillery is taking a different path, producing the state's first potato vodka.

Skip Rock, founded 13 months ago, is owned and run by Ryan and Julie Hembree, who are not reluctant to let people know their undertaking is "a homebrewing hobby gone wild."

Ryan, a former agriculture coordinator for Snohomish County, has a formal education in winemaking. The couple pair spent a week in Louisville, KY, several years ago to study distillation techniques at Woodford Reserve.

The majority of Skip Rock's potatoes are grown in the state's Skagit Valley. The distillers use a 75%-25% mix of Yukon Gold and red potatoes.

In addition to running his own facility, Ryan does much of the distilling for Mac Donald Distillery. The two distilleries share a tasting room at 104 Avenue C in Snohomish. Phone: (360) 862-0272.

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