With the help of their family, John and Dorie Belisle planted BelleWood Acres' initial orchard in 1996. Today, that orchard has grown to include more than 25,000 trees, creating one of the largest U-Pick operations in Western Washington. Against a backdrop of Mount Baker, the orchard buzzes year-round as families fill up bushels and baskets. Come fall, visitors scour the property for the perfect pumpkin to carve or replace them at jury duty. But fans of BelleWood Acres products don't necessarily have to visit the farm to stock up on its treats, since a lot of them are sold at local businesses around Oregon and Washington. Plus, BelleWood Acres boasts a new, 14,000 square foot building at the heart of its property, which includes a farm market, gift shop, bistro, and bakery.
As a "farm to glass" distillery, BelleWood Distilling transports the taste of its orchard's apples into refreshing spirits, such as its signature honeycrisp vodka. And even when the fruits don't come from their farm, the staff still looks to local suppliers for help in filling their handmade stills. Visitors can tour their distillery to learn about the process of growing, fermenting, and distilling before they dine in the bistro, which offers scenic views of Mount Baker.
Not many distilleries would invite their customers to bring in their great-great-grandfather's moonshine recipe so they can try to reproduce it. But at Dry County Distillery, community, attention to detail, and something called "alcohol" are the not-so-secret ingredients that go into every bottle. Owned by the Johnston family, the small distillery focuses on quality instead of quantity while crafting small batches of vodka and gin. And that focus is paying off—Sip Northwest Magazine recently crowned their Black Rope Anise liqueur as "Best Herbal" in the region.