There are some days when I just adore this photography gig of mine.
I met Holly from Captive Spirits Distilling at the Seattle Street Food festival, where she was handing out samples of their Bourbon Barreled Big Gin.
For those of you who aren’t into artisanal gins (which are booming in the Seattle area at present) then you should rectify that immediately. This stuff was insanely good – golden, citrusy and buttery smooth with smoky undertones of bourbon – and it makes for awesome cocktails. It seems that the rest of the world likes Captive Spirits’ gins too as they won some big deal awards last year, including a Gold Medal for Best Contemporary Gin in the International Wine & Spirits Competition for the Bourbon Barreled Big Gin, making it the first American gin to EVER win in the gin category. Their unaged Big Gin took a Silver in the same competition.
Captive Spirits’ story is all the more amazing when you realise that Holly and her husband Ben, together with their business partners and a small staff, craft the gin and market it worldwide from a small garage in Seattle’s Ballard neighbourhood, and I spent a wonderful morning there recently photographing the bottling process at the distillery.
It truly had everything to thrill a photographer’s heart – soft, creamy light, gleaming copper French stills, sparkling bottles, beardie hipsters, charming owners and Rosie, the world’s most photogenic dog. I could literally have stayed there photographing all day.
I was so inspired by their story that I pitched it to Edible Seattle which resulted in me taking the portrait above of Ben, Holly, Rosie the dog and the stills, Jean and Phyllis.
It also led to me pitching and writing a round-up of artisan gin producers in the Seattle area for Seattle Refined. All of which appears to be leading me on a dangerous new craft spirits obsession. I will report back.