We decided it was time to get some official training. There are a lot training options when it comes to distilling. We wanted something that was in the PNW and had a broad coverage of topics. After a quick search we found that Dry Fly in Spokane offered a week long class and Spirits Institute Puget Sound in Seattle. They both had good reviews and were within a half day drive of Pendleton. We reached out to them both and found that Dry Fly felt that a distillery in Pendleton Oregon was a little too close for their comfort and declined our request.
Rusty Figgins at SIPS welcomed our inquiry and sent us a link to his website where we could review his syllabus and sign up for his class (#15). After a quick review of previous classes and his syllabus we signed up for his class.
We were completely happy with our decision. The five day course covered a great deal of information for up and coming distillers. From business planning, equipment, federal regulations, branding, marketing, barrels, and distilling. We feel it gave us a great head start and enough tools to get started. We recommend it to anyone who wants to get some good exposure to the distilling business. The piece it didn't cover and they are up front with it is recipes. I was ok with this as I like to cook and experiment which is half the fun.
Here are some pictures from SIPS # 15. You can check the class out here http://www.sipsclass.org/