The trio behind San Juan Island Distillery strives to create small-batch ciders and spirits from apples grown on San Juan Island. They make an astounding amount of craft gin, 14 in total, with notable batches like Spy Hop Gin and their Harvest Select Gin. The majority of their distilled spirits are only available on the Islands, making a stop at San Juan Island Distillery a must for any gin lovers.
Perhaps a lesser-known fact about the San Juan Islands is that they share a similar climate with Normandy, France, where Basque-style ciders, pommeaus, and Calvados are regional specialties. The team at San Juan Distillery harvests apples from their orchard at Westcott Bay Cider and distills them into eau de vie using the traditional French methods in copper stills and aged in old French Limousin oak barrels.
Before you start setting your itinerary for your next trip to San Juan Island, you’ll want to find lodging accommodations first. Our 18-unit historic inn has various eco-friendly guest room options that are perfect for couples, families, and four-legged friends. Head over to our availability calendar and book your next stay today!
Head to San Juan Island Distillery for a Gin Tasting
The San Juan Island Distillery is located out near Roche Harbor on the northwest side of the island, and it’s about 20 minutes by car from our Inn—though the route there is popular with cyclists as well. Whichever transportation you choose, a tour and a tasting at this island distillery is a lovely way to spend your time.
Here are four things to know about San Juan Island Distillery:
- Due to a small staff, the tasting hours at San Juan Island Distillery are relatively limited timewise. They’re currently offering a window for public tastings between 1 pm and 4 pm. Though in proper small-town island form, if you’re hoping to visit during the week, the owners recommend texting them, and if they’re at the distillery working, you’re more than welcome to swing by.
- As we mentioned before, they make an impressive amount of gin, from traditional juniper flavors to citrus and berry-infused varieties. One of their favorite products and perhaps the most acclaimed is their apple brandy which took the gold medal from the American Craft Spirits Association.
- During your tasting, the beautiful and shiny copper still is often running. The Adolf Adrian Still is made in Germany from hammered copper on the exterior and interior, and daily polishing is a must!
- The San Juan Island Distillery tastings traditionally consist of five samples. But you won’t be limited to gin (though the Spy Hop is a fan favorite); you can also try their Westcott Bay Ciders, brandies, and other specialty liquors.
Other Tastings on San Juan Island:
- San Juan Island Brewing Company: This excellent San Juan Island brewery is just a matter of steps from our Friday Harbor Inn Collection. Head here for flights, including five 5oz pours of either your choice or the brewers. Pair those with creative wood-fired pizzas, burgers, and hot sandwiches.
- San Juan Vineyards: For a lovely tasting of locally grown varietals, head to this renovated 1895 schoolhouse-turned winery. Surrounded by the 30-acre vineyard and rolling green hills, find a spot outside for a self-guided Washington wine tasting.
Romantic Lodging for your Next Getaway
With nearly 500 five-star reviews on TripAdvisor from our past guests, The Tucker House Inn and Harrison House Suites is one of the topped ranked hotels on San Juan Island. Here’s one of our latest glowing reviews:
“Beautiful suite, nicely appointed, and very clean. The Lopez Suite was perfect for our family of four. The beds are super comfortable and the bedding was like a cloud. Hot breakfast delivered to [our] door was delicious: hot biscuits, eggs, gravy, with homemade granola and yogurt parfait, juice, and coffee. French champagne, cookies, and gorgeous flower arrangement made my birthday super special. Definitely worth the splurge. The staff was accessible and very nice.” –Sarah P.
We can’t wait to host you for your next island getaway! Reserve your room today.