Spokane Journal of Business

Couple opens Warrior Liquors

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A new distillery called Warrior Liquors has opened at 714 N. Lee, in Spokane’s Chief Garry Park neighborhood.

The business is owned by entrepreneurs Rich and Mary Clemson, who are part of a total staff of four, the others being their daughter, Kayla, and master distiller Brad Budge.

The couple formerly owned a Spokane-based pasta making company called Pasta USA, which they sold in 2006.

“We tried retirement for a while, but we’ve always been interested the distilling process,” says Rich Clemson. “Beer and wine seemed like they’ve been a bit overdone here, so we chose to make liquor instead.”

Clemson says the grand opening for the tasting room was held early this month, but the distillery has been in operation since mid-December in a 6,800-square-foot renovated warehouse space that includes a tasting room, offices, and production area.

“We’ve been using that time to perfect our procedures and barreling process, since the product needs time to distill before it’s released,” he says. “This is a large enough facility that we can store alcohol here in both tanks and barrels, which is beneficial.”

Clemson says Warrior currently offers American dry gin, vodka, and flavored vodka in six varieties: coconut, grapefruit, huckleberry, pineapple, blood orange, and vanilla.

“We’re happy with our current flavors, but we might experiment with some seasonal varieties in our tasting room this year,” he says.

He says the distillery also plans to have selections of bourbon, rye, and single-malt whiskey available by early December.

So far, he says the distillery produces about four batches of liquor each week, using grain from local farmers in the Colfax and Ritzville areas. 

“Using locally sourced grain helps us to keep consistency in our product,” he says. “We’re still just getting started introducing people to our product, but we do hope to grow into relationships with more restaurants and grocery stores.”

LeAnn Bjerken
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Reporter LeAnn Bjerken covers health care at the Journal of Business. A Minnesota native and cat lover, she enjoys beachside vacations and writing poetry. LeAnn has worked for the Journal since 2015.

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