A Love Story Made from Scratch
The story of Scratch Distillery is a love story. A first date. A commitment to organic ingredients and from-scratch methods. And a belief that great spirits and great personal relationships go hand in hand.
Scratch Distillery opened in Edmonds, Washington, in 2015, but the story began in 1987 when Bryan Karrick made his date Kim a gin and tonic on the first sunny spring day at Michigan State University. Bryan denies it and laughs, “I don’t recall that. Alcohol is not allowed on campus at MSU.”
The love of gin grew along with the love between the Karricks. They married and then landed in Edmonds, where Bryan opened an optometry practice. Kim, a self-described “gin nerd,” brewed beer, worked in wineries, and finally determined that she wanted to make gin on her own terms.
Gin on Her Own Terms
Kim, who has a sensitive and inquisitive palate, tasted a raft of gins, studied the industry, and decided that she would go her own way. She became convinced that there’s no single gin that can appeal to every gin lover. Her passion was to make gin from scratch, using only highest quality, locally sourced ingredients, and to allow enthusiasts to make their own individual blend.
While many gins start with a base spirit purchased elsewhere, Kim wanted to control the process from beginning to end, ensuring corners weren’t cut and quality wasn’t degraded along the way. As Kim notes, “local farmers are taking financial risks by making organic products and Scratch wants to support these sustainability practices.”
Just as the Karricks do in their cooking at home, Kim starts with organic, non-GMO ingredients for her spirits. The wheat and other grains come from Fairhaven Organic in the Skagit Valley, the organic potatoes come from Warden, WA, and the botanicals come from near (as close as the balcony) and far.
With these local and organic ingredients, Kim learned how to cook her own high-quality mash, then ferment and distill the spirit from these grains, with love, into a delicious bottled product.
Craft Spirits for Every Palate
More than just gin now, Scratch Distillery crafts a dozen award-winning products from organic ingredients, including gins, vodkas, infused vodkas, whiskey, aquavits, brandy, and bier schnaps.
Eager to share her singular gift of taste and discernment, Kim developed her innovative GINiology program. Guided by Kim and Bryan, participants taste 33 different botanicals that are used in gin and develop their own gin. They take it home in a Scratch custom gin bottle that night and the recipe is stored so that customers can reorder their personal gin. “It makes you the creator of your favorite gin ever,” Bryan says.
Creating Community in the Tasting Room
Kim says, “I love creating something that I am passionate about and then sharing it with like-minded people. My time in the tasting room with customers is always rewarding and energizing.”
And those who experience and share Scratch spirits notice. The taste, the natural ingredients, the care put into the end-to-end process and ultimately the community that Kim and Bryan are building is evident in every glass. The love story continues.