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Of course you can taste, tour and otherwise get your wine in Lake Chelan.

But there is a Chelan beyond the crush and locals make libations from things that aren't grapes.

Some places use apples.

Well, this is one of the oldest apple packing sheds in the area, so we built our winery in it, said Johnny Kludt of Lake Chelan Winery.

When craft cider took off a couple years ago, Chelan Winery decided to share the small batches of hard cider they made.

It's all artisanal -- so handpicked, no concentrates, everything's right our of the orchards and you get a real vibrant fresh apple character to it, Kludt said.

Today, the matches are no longer small and they have a tough time keeping this cider on the winery shelves. It's also available in more than 150 grocery stores.

If you'd rather have a pint of brew, head up the road to Manson and the Lake Chelan Brewery.

We felt we needed something a little bit different than a winery because a lot of people are doing wine, said owner Tony Medina. That's why we went for the brewery.

These brews have been known to cause conversions.

Typically I enjoy wine, but um yeah, I've been learning about beers and it's yeah, I like them, said Kelli Edwards, while the brewery.

This is the only place you can get Manson Beach Blonde and Mackinaw Red Amber on tap.

We only serve the Lake Chelan Brewery right here, exclusively, because we're such a small system. We can't go outside of it because we can barely keep up here, Medina said.

The brewery has touches that make all visitors feel like a local. You can write on the brick wall for a donation to the food bank or spin vintage vinyl at the bar's turntable. There's a stack of record to choose from or patrons can bring their own Bon Jovi.

Their secret to brewing beer that's turning wine lovers to hop heads? It's the water.

We feel like we have the best-tasting water in the state or anywhere, right here in Chelan, said Medina.

This pirate's hideout is actually a tasting room for Blue Spirits, Chelan's only distillery.


It's a great place to relax and sip spirits, said owner Jeff Soehren.

Former architect Soehren turned his garage into a lab. The results of his experiments are flavorful vodkas and rich bourbons.

Plenty of wine tourists make their way to this mom and pop distillery to sample what Soehren and wife create.

We have a lot of people that enjoy having the option of coming to a distillery and having whiskey, or tasting bourbon, he said.

The local ingredient that makes these spirits special?

'Blue Spirits' comes from the color of our water, Soehren said. The water is phenomenal. Lake Chelan is one of three pristine lakes in the county. The water composition, the pH, the balance -- it's just perfect for distilling, for producing spirits.

Blue Spirits also has the distinction of being the only boat-up distillery in the state.

Lake Chelan's grapes are great, but so is the water. And there are plenty of ways to get a taste of this place that have nothing to do with wine.

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