Local Proof: Portland’s Leaf to Bottle Distillery

by Sonja Groset

Seth O’Malley, the head distiller at Thomas & Sons Distillery in Portland, has long been fascinated by botanical spirits such…

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Back for its fifth season, Speed Rack continued its competition tour with a stop at Seattle’s Neumo’s. Founded by savvy bartenderesses Lynnette Marrero and Ivy Mix, this all-female speed-bartending competition raises money for breast cancer education, prevention and research all while shining a spotlight on women behind the bar. The concept was to create a cocktail competition for women; created, celebrated and supported by women.

Badger Pocket (according to Skip Rock Distillers, who gave their potato vodka line the same name) is “more than a place on the map. It’s an attitude that is shared by many that are lucky enough to call this place home.” This Central Washington locale is all about taking things slow in a fast-paced world—and, it would seem, distilling with a matching brand of intention and care.

When Okanagan Spirits first opened in 2004, they were pioneers in the craft distilling trade for Western Canada. The tax and distribution structure made it a risky venture for Tony Dyck and his son Tyler. But over the last decade, the father-son team weathered the storm, launched more than two dozen products, helped establish the province’s craft distillers’ guild and have been joined by over 30 other distilleries in British Columbia.

The pursuit of smoothness is akin to the definition of vodka, and Bendistillery’s Crater Lake Spirits label hits that nail on the head with their unique Reserve vodka, distilled in Bend, Oregon from grain to an even 40 percent ABV. Cascade Mountain water is a big part of the playbill here; the rest of the smoothness is achieved in pass after pass after pass after pass through a combination of crushed lava rock and charcoal.

When John Vissotzky tells prospective customers that he owns a distillery in Battle Ground, Washington—a city in Clark County with a population of approximately 18,000 residents—the response is usually surprise.
But when he and Steve Vissotzky, his co-owner and brother, envisioned a welcoming space that would attract residents and tourists to the tasting room of Double V Distillery, Battle Ground’s zoning requirements hit the sweet spot.

There are times when you want to drink socially with friends, and there are times when you want one hand on the brew and the other on the pinball plunger, memories circa ‘85 rushing back. Whatever place you’re in, we’ve got the digs for you. From lively games to live music, battle-axes to battle ship, here are a few go-to bars with a little extra on the menu.

There is a lot more to Woodinville, Washington than suburban wine country (read all about that here). Sure, the Warehouse District houses nearly 60 wineries and tasting rooms, but tucked behind the roll-up garage doors of shoe box-sized industrial studios is a smattering of cideries, breweries and distilleries.

It all started when Jim Bendis went for a jog through the juniper forests in Central Oregon’s high desert plateau, near Bend, more than 20 years ago. According to Alan Dietrich, CEO of Crater Lake Spirits, Bendis saw the abundance of juniper and an “aha moment” that drew him to use the juniper to make gin.
Since Bendis first started bottling gin and vodka in 1996, Crater Lake Spirits has become one of the most recognizable spirits produced in the Pacific Northwest.

Tomorrow morning when you wake up to breathe in the first air of 2016, you, like many others, may not be feeling your best. Even if you followed Bill Murray’s sage words of wisdom and added ice to your Champagne to help stay hydrated, you might find yourself feeling tipsy when the ball drops and a hangover could be in your near future.
There are many great ways to nurse a hangover (Pedialyte included), but one of my favorite remedies is putting something in my stomach.

 
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