Ben Capdevielle’s history in the wide world of distilling began two generations ago in Manning, Iowa, with his Grandpa Joseph Pier Capdevielle. As a child, his Grandpa was tasked with keeping the fires burning under the water troughs so that the livestock drinking water wouldn’t freeze. He worked for a few family farms, which gave him access to “dugouts” where he began making moonshine and built a business for himself. The tricks of the trade were then passed down to Ben’s dad, James Joseph Capdevielle.
Fast forward to 2003 when Ben joined his dad on a fishing trip in Florida. While there, Jim introduced Ben to molasses fermentation in a friend’s garage before heading out on their boating venture. By the time they returned, it was time to distill a batch of rum. That process was so much fun, Ben was immediately hooked.
Upon return to Seattle, Ben’s curiosity was bubbling. He was tending bar in some of Seattle’s better-known establishments when he began making moonshine with a friend at his house in Ballard. They had a such a blast distilling together, they shared their goods with local bartender friends looking to have some goodies behind the bar for special guests. Their timing coincided with the American Craft Spirits revival.
Eventually, Ben was inspired to make his passion official and opened Captive Spirits, which became home to Big Gin, a local legendary brand that went on to win international acclaim. It’s fanbase grew and Ben sold it in 2016. Passing the torch to Hood River Distillers was a huge accomplishment for Ben and his proudest moment in life outside the birth of his child, Stella.
Then, in 2021 Ben joined the team at Batch 206, former name of Old Log Cabin Distillery, and has been kicking up his creativity here ever since.