Local businesses brewing up a partnership - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Local businesses brewing up a partnership

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RICHLAND, WA - A good sign of a good economy is growing local business - but what about when those businesses grow together? Well, there is a partnership brewing at two local ones. It's melding two common drinks into one: coffee flavored vodka.

"A lot of people tell us they've traveled all over the world, the country, the northwest and tried all sorts of cold brews and ours stands out. It was kind of a dream to someday pair it with a liqueor or something," said Barracuda Coffee Company owner Jake Shupe.

"I think they actually approached me to see if there was an opportunity for us to collaborate. So we said of course," said Kris Lapp who handles Solar Spirits' marketing and sales.

"The rest is history as they say," said Shupe.

It culminated into a coffee flavored vodka: a glass of locally-roasted joe with an 80 proof kick.

"We spent about six months blending different products and finding one we liked. We ended up using the Kenyan roast," said Lapp.

"I think eventually we'll switch to some different coffees, too, so you'll get those different tasting notes out of the vodka," said Shupe. 

Solar Spirits is a one of a kind solar-powered craft distillery in Richland. Barracuda Coffee Company is expanding and the new location won't be selling the vodka, only the original zero-proof coffees.

"We'll just have to buy it from Solar Spirits like everybody else and enjoy it at home. But yeah. It'll be alright," Shupe said with a laugh.

Solar Spirits is open for tastings on Fridays and Saturdays. The coffee vodka is made from its wheat vodka and that wheat comes from a Pasco farmer. 

Barracuda Coffee Company's new location will open in early November on Kellogg Street in Kennewick. The original shop is in Richland.