Port of Lewiston hears update on new distillery, Lewiston Tribune, March 11, 2015

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By ELAINE WILLIAMS of the Tribune

One of the Port of Lewiston’s newest tenants made its first batch of vodka with a consultant in Prosser, Wash., said Brian Kolstad, one of the operation’s partners.

The vodka is already available at Clarkston businesses including Rick’s Family Foods, bars Rookies and Hogan’s Place and the Emerald Garden restaurant, Kolstad said.

The Lewis-Clark State College employee and Clarkston city councilor attended Tuesday’s Port of Lewiston Commission meeting to ask for a change in the terms of the distillery’s lease. The operation occupies Suite D of a port building at 1708 Sixth Ave. North.

The commissioners asked Kolstad to put the request in writing and told him they expect to act on it at a meeting later this month.

Kolstad wants a lease extension through June at a monthly rate of $1,398, a rate the company started in September and that was supposed to last six months before going to $1,757. That’s the first of three lease payment increases before the rate tops out at $2,343.

Even though they’ve had the space for half a year, Printer’s Distillery hasn’t made any liquor there yet because its distillation equipment from Amsterdam is going through the Port of Portland, Ore., and isn’t expected to arrive for about three or four weeks, Kolstad said.

The first batches of vodka produced in North Lewiston will likely be ready in April. Vodka, and eventually gin, will be distilled from wheat. Whiskey will be made from wheat, rye and barley.

“We’ll definitely become a tourist destination for people,” Kolstad said.

Kolstad has two partners in the venture, Matt Plemmons and Skate Pierce, who is a bartender at Hogan’s. Plemmons won one of two top spots in a lottery for Asotin County marijuana retail stores. His license request is listed as pending on a Washington State Liquor Control Board database.

Plemmons, who attended Tuesday’s port commission meeting with Kolstad, declined to provide an update about that business in an email and noted the city of Clarkston has blocked legal sales of marijuana within its boundaries.

Williams may be contacted at [email protected] or (208) 848-2261.