Portland’s Distillery Row
Tour production facilities, sample spirits and stock your home bar in this compact collection of distilleries.
John Patrick Pullen
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.
This venerable distillery was another early presence on Distillery Row; they debuted their acclaimed Aviation American Gin in 2006, and its massive popularity helped cement Portland as a spirits city. Aviation was acquired by Davos Brands in 2016, and Westward Whiskey has moved on to focus on exciting new spirits. Their small-batch, single-malt whiskeys come in a variety of robust styles: stout cask, pinot noir cask, cask strength and more. Each offers something a little different, but they all have one thing in common: bold, balanced flavors that whiskey connoisseurs will love.
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.
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