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Family Farm Helps Produce Award-Winning Spirits

Posted on February 06, 2019

Grain to glass. It’s a simple concept and the motivating factor for Dry Fly Distillery in Spokane, WA. Dry Fly became Washington State’s first craft distillery in 2007. They have earned numerous awards for their products and have seen loyal followers grow across the country, but at the end of the day, it all starts with the grain.

Keeping it local is key to the Dry Fly philosophy. All the grain that goes into their products comes from within 30 miles of the distillery. Their main producer is Wisota Farms located eight miles east of Rosalia, Washington. Wisota is a 117 year-old, 2100 acre family farm ran by Mitch Engel.

“I’m a fourth generation family farmer, and I believe in a strong work ethic and family values,” said Engel, owner of Wisota Farms. “I was very keen to partner with Dry Fly Distilling when I saw what they were doing and how it meshed with our values. Our goals are similar and that has resulted in some great products.”

Dry Fly began their distilling journey with vodka and gin, all made from locally grown winter white wheat. For the gin, a local botanical deck is used making the product one-of-a-kind. While it would take years for it to hit the market, Dry Fly also threw their hat into the whiskey ring early on with selections of bourbon, wheat whiskey and the first triticale whiskey to hit the market. Triticale is a hybrid of wheat and rye, developed in Scotland in the 1800’s.

“We wanted to create products that spoke about their origin from the start,” said Don Poffenroth, founder of Dry Fly Distillery. “With Dry Fly that means hyper local raw ingredients that reflect our region—almost a terroir approach to grain and botanicals. Mitch has been a tremendous help in this process and the quality of our products starts with the grains he produces.”

Over the years, the farm and distillery have grown together through strong communication and a shared vision. Dry Fly recently announced major expansion plans that will increase the production capacity from its current 30,000 maximum annual gallons, to 250,000 gallons along with creating a new production facility and expanding distribution into the Pacific Rim.

“We are excited about Dry Fly’s growth and look forward to meeting all their grain needs,” said Engel. “I can raise everything they need, store it for timely delivery and still provide exactly what they have always used to make their products great.”

It is often said, great minds think alike and that is certainly true for the folks at Dry Fly Distillery and Wisota Farms. More than a decade ago they entered this partnership with the same goal in mind and that goal continues to be a driving force for both parties.

Poffenroth sums it up nicely, “Truth in distilling is important to us because it is the way distilling was established in the U.S. Small distilling should be about the process, the journey, and the first taste. Many things can be said about Dry Fly, but one thing is sure. We have always made every drop from scratch and have done whatever we say we have done to achieve those products. No BS.”

About Dry Fly Distilling

Dry Fly Distilling began with Don Poffenroth and a good friend, knee-deep in a Pacific Northwest river, just outside the lie on a scenic bend. The two friends discussed how fortunate they were to live, work, and play in one of the most amazing places on earth. That conversation hatched an idea to find a way to share their mutual love of hand-crafted spirits and the natural beauty and purity of the Northwest. Dry Fly Distilling was born.

Dry Fly embraces the farm to bottle approach for all of their products. Grain is sourced from family farms located within 30 miles of the distillery. Dry Fly Gin also boasts a locally sourced botanical deck. With each product consumers can be sure they are getting the finest spirits available and it is a totally grain to glass operation.

Dry Fly launched in 2007 and continues to grow. All Dry Fly products, from the award-winning whiskies, vodka and gin can be found throughout the U.S. as well as internationally. For more information on our products and the distillery please visit

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