21 Window hand crafts a very special brand of vodka made with Washington apples and its owners are working to break into the craft distillery industry here in Spokane.
Last October, owners Michael Thompson and Guy Farmer took a small idea and ran with it. Both are former military pilots and their plan to distill their own vodka was born before a trip overseas.
"Used to be in the military and I was looking at ways to make booze in a foreign country," Thompson said.
That was ten years ago and, in case you're wondering, Thompson never made alcohol during his tour in Afghanistan. But the idea was there so he enlisted a little help to get it off the ground.
"I have some good friends that are wine makers and we were talking about it and eventually we were like 'Hey lets give this a shot.' So we just started fermenting and went from there," he said.
The distillery operates out of a warehouse and office building in Spokane Valley off Sprague Avenue. Washington apples are used to make basically a high proof apple cider.
Once fermented the product is stripped and proofed down to a drinkable vodka that's bottled and distributed through Spokane's King Beverage.
You can find 21 Window vodka in bars like Press, Saranac, the Post Street Alehouse and many others. It will also hit local store shelves sometime next week
And if you were wondering about the name, well, Michael Thompson is a bit of a Volkswagen guru and there's a very desired model of the Volkswagen microbus with 21 windows.
"It represents fun, uniqueness, I always had good memories of it so that kind of translated into what the vodka should be called," he said.