PROSSER — Underneath a picture-perfect evening of warm color and social ambience, the Sixth Annual Beer and Whiskey Festival took place on Saturday, Aug. 24, from 5-10 p.m. at the Wine and Food Park on Lee Road in Prosser.

Pat and Denise Modell of Yakima, were on hand to enjoy the local whiskey spirits by Swede Hill Distilling with an on the rocks sampling.

The husband and wife couple attended the event for the first time with friends from the area and decided to join in on the fun.

“I would rather have a nice sample on the rocks, so you can taste what the product is,” Pat Modell explained. Denise added, “It’s a smooth whiskey. Really nice and easy on your pallet. Great with ice and opens it up a little bit.”

According to Kevin and Pam Milford, owners of Swede Hill Distilling, their American whiskey is a bourbon because of the way it’s made.

She said the single barrel Yakima product is made of 75 percent corn and aged for two years in American white oak barrels with a char level of three. The charring or the quick one-minute burn inside the barrel is what constitutes the spirit as a bourbon.

“We just didn’t want to fall into the sea of bourbons. By its’ production, it is a bourbon which falls under the American whiskey umbrella, Pam Milford acknowledged. “Some people ask me at events that they think bourbon has to be made in Kentucky, which is a myth. But it did originate there!”

Fest goers Oran Brazington and Lindsey Ackerman of Richland were on a date night. As the happy couple were walking the grounds hand in hand, Brazington graciously introduced Ackerman to the sunset hues of the romantic evening and masterfully guided her with an outside turn.

“He was so filled with love,” Ackerman playfully mused. “I was feeling a little spontaneous. I like to do that every once in a while, and see how it goes,” Brazington contemplated his partner’s comments with an affectionate laugh.

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