The epicenter of the emerging craft distillery movement, Portland’s Central Eastside area is home to a community of independent, small-batch spirit makers who have put Portland on the map of liquor connoisseurs, and great bottles on the shelf of bartenders worldwide. Tour production facilities, sample spirits and stock your home bar in this compact collection of distilleries.
In Portland’s old days — a time when the city teemed with pirates, smugglers and outlaws — careless revelers who consumed too many libations might have been “shanghaied,” or kidnapped, and whisked away to work on the sea. Today, there’s a safer way to enjoy some fine cocktails: a trip through Portland’s Distillery Row.
The Distilleries of Distillery Row
New Deal Distillery
New Deal Distillery was the first distillery to open in the area we now call Distillery Row, way back in 2004. Distiller and co-founder Tom Burkleaux started out with vodkas — still a New Deal specialty — and has branched out to offer whiskey, gin, pear brandy, a range of liqueurs, and more. Try the spicy Hot Monkey Vodka, flavored with five chili peppers, mixed with pineapple juice, or the premixed Driftwood Manhattan.
Home to Westward Whiskey, the namesake is one of Distillery Row’s earliest entries, debuting its acclaimed Aviation American Gin in 2006. The popularity of this non-traditional gin, flavored with lavender and orange peel, cemented Portland as a spirits city. (Acquired by Davos Brands in 2016, Aviation is still distilled by Westward Whiskey. Actor Ryan Reynolds is such a fan that he acquired a stake in 2018.) Under its own label, Westward Whiskey crafts aquavit, vodka, whiskey and rum, along with a developmental spirits line.
Stone Barn Brandyworks
Husband-and-wife team Sebastian and Erika Degens of Stone Barn Brandyworks craft seasonal, fruit-based liqueurs, as well as barrel-aged whiskeys. Stone Barn’s year-round offerings include cranberry, apricot and walnut liqueurs. Seasonal products like strawberry liqueur, plum brandy and pinot gris ouzo reflect the bounty of the local harvest.
At Vinn Distillery, the Ly family crafts spirits using methods passed down over seven generations in China and Vietnam. Their naturally gluten-free rice-based spirits include baijiu, the “white liquor” that’s considered China’s national drink. The Lys also produce whiskey, vodka and blackberry liqueur.
Wild Roots Spirits
Savor the fruity flavors of fresh berries from Oregon’s Willamette Valley with a bottle of Wild Roots Spirits. Each bottle of these all-natural infused spirits contains over a pound of fresh fruit for intense flavor. Options include Marionberry, red raspberry, cranberry, pear, dark sweet cherry and apple and cinnamon.
Rolling River Spirits
Distilling since 2014, family-owned Rolling River Spirits offers gin, whiskey, vodkas and aquavits and other spirits made from the freshest ingredients. The name, Rolling River, is inspired by the many majestic rivers in the Northwest and underscores the importance of pure water in the distillation process.
Take your happy hour to the next level with one of these classic Rose City cocktails, from a sophisticated Negroni to a group-sized Tiki bowl.
Discover Portland’s best woman-made spirits and bitters, one sip at a time.
Powered by a collective of Southeast Portland spirit makers, Portland's craft distilling era is coming of age.
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