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Bootlegging Family History Adds to Spirits’ Appeal

During Prohibition, Ben Lazowski’s grandfather worked as a bootlegger for infamous gangster Al Capone. Young Ben grew up hearing stories of his grandfather’s adventures (with certainly a few misadventures) and exploring secret passageways in this grandfather’s Chicago home. It’s ironic that years of alcohol prohibition could spark a fascination with the stuff decades later.

Ben teamed up with his wife Stacey to open Valley Shine Distillery in April 2016. It took the Lazowskis five months to remodel the 100-year-old building. Large windows showcase the storefront’s clean lines. Unfinished hardwood floors and red-brick walls add warmth. Industrial accents and a sliding barnyard door add to the element of industrial chic decor.

The couple spent two-and-half years developing the product line, paying special attention to quality and details. They use locally sourced ingredients in their small-batch operation, making for a full-on Washington product. “Small batch means you can take more care in the quality of a product,” Ben says. “You’re not focused on the volume, so you can pay more attention to detail.”Currently, they produce eight varieties to include Limoncello, which won Gold for Best In Category at the International Spirits Awards earlier this year and Red X Gin, which took Silver. Visit Valley Shine Distillery and try a tasting flight to sample all of Valley Shine’s spirits. You won’t be disappointed. While you are sampling, they offer a full restaurant menu from starters to dessert, allowing you to savor cocktail after cocktail without hunger pangs.

320 S. 1st St., Mount Vernon
360.588.4086 | valleyshinedistillery.com

To continue reading our feature on Spirits, click here!

"They use locally sourced ingredients in their small-batch operation, making for a full-on Washington product."