- In Success Stories
- Posted May 27 2016
Trade missions reap rewards for Heritage Distilling Co.
Craft distillery benefits from local logistic providers and nearby port facilities
Two trade missions to China, a container shipment to Hong Kong and strong connections to international markets are reaping rewards for Heritage Distilling Co.’s line of naturally flavored vodkas.
The Gig Harbor, Washington-based distillery produces 26 flavored vodkas, ranging from vanilla and peach to coffee and bacon, as well as a variety of bourbon, whiskey and gin. For the past two years, HDC has been the most awarded craft distillery in North America by the American Distilling Institute.
The fast-growing company operates on a “field-to-flask” ethos. Pacific Northwest-grown wheat, corn, barley and wine serve as the base ingredients, and HDC makes its own mash and wort and operates custom-made stills imported from Italy.
“There’s been a shift in society to no preservatives. Consumers want more natural products, but want them to be cost-effective and taste good,” CEO Justin Stiefel said. “We figured out how to do that, especially with our flavored vodkas.”
During the trade missions organized by the World Trade Center Tacoma (WTCT), HDC met with potential suppliers and buyers, and local government trade officials in China. The WTCT arranged everything, Stiefel said, even translating documents and sale sheets.
HDC connected with local distributors and is now testing its flavored vodkas at restaurants across the country. The top flavors? Raspberry, Hibiscus, Lavender and Coffee vodkas.
“There is a thirst in China and Hong Kong for all things American,” Stiefel said, citing the prestige of U.S. products and distrust of locally-made products due to past health scares.
And a meeting with a custom box manufacturer resulted in one of HDC’s most popular items this past holiday season: the Spirits Advent Calendar featuring 24 miniature bottles of whiskey, bourbon and flavored vodkas housed in a custom box designed and manufactured in China.
With headquarters near Northwest Seaport Alliance terminals, and the expertise of local logistic service providers Sea-Air Transport and Panalpina, HDC’s jump into international markets is proving successful.
Learn more about Heritage Distilling Co.