44° North Mountain Huckleberry Vodka

by Erin James

When in Idaho, one makes vodka of potatoes. Using Idaho’s original potato, along with Idaho wheat when needed, Boise’s 44°…


Batch 206 Distillery, named for its Seattle area code, is currently ranked within the top three selling distilleries in Washington State. Before Jeff Steichen and his wife Daleen opened the distillery in 2012, Steichen was already a big part of the Seattle community as the owner and operator of the crazy popular Showbox music venue. 206 runs through this guy’s veins.
Batch 206 describes their Mad Mint Vodka as a “blizzard in a bottle,” and we can see where they are coming from.

The production of craft beverage has skyrocketed in popularity as of late. Especially in the Northwest, where it is hard to walk 10 feet without seeing a new craft brewery or an original craft distiller pop up out of nowhere. This is not a bad thing by any means. It provides diversity in an otherwise dull and repetitive industry. And while this has been all the rage throughout the United States, Canada’s progression into craft took a bit longer to smooth out the kinks.

In collaboration with Expedia Canada to spread the good word of Northwest beverage and tourism, Mark Stock digs deep into Oregon’s spirits scene, from Portland’s Distillery Row and beyond.
In a year that commemorates the state’s first vineyard rows 50 years ago, it’s refreshing to see other fermented goods following Oregon wine’s graceful lead. The Willamette Valley, long applauded for its Pinot Noir potential, has since welcomed craft brewers and distillers to its fertile terrain.

Sunshine. Sandy beaches and warm sand to walk on. A place to lay back in a lounge chair and order a tantalizing, rum and fruit filled tropical beverage in a tall, festive glass. The Pacific Northwest is known for, well, absolutely none of these things. While not everyone can afford to fly out to such places when we are craving a tropical getaway, there are a few bars across the Northwest that have brought the paradise here.

Spiritopia in Corvalis, Oregon believes that the secret to a good artisan liqueur is in the balance of their three part trinity: essence, spirit and sweetness. You can taste the layers of hard work that went into creating Spiritopia Apple Liqueur. First, the apples are juiced and fermented to create a hard cider, which is then distilled creating an apple brandy.

Located just 30 minutes west of Portland, SakéOne has been changing the public’s perception of saké for nearly 20 years. What began as a venture for importing saké from Japan in the 1990s, grew into a saké-making business and kura (saké brewery) with a tasting room.
SakéOne produces three labels at their kura: G Saké, Moonstone and Momokawa. They sell about 80,000 cases of these craft brewed sakés.

From the same team of beverage creatives behind Phillips Brewing Company and Phillips Soda Works, Phillips Fermentorium Distilling Co. in Victoria, BC is designed to be a distillery “where unrestrained creativity and a hand-crafted approach shape unique recipes of all kinds.”
One of those unique recipes is for Stump Coastal Forest Gin.

Cooking is something great chefs do inherently, not necessarily for a pay check. Ideas for a new dish come at the most untimely times, overturning sleep patterns and jamming schedules. But those sleep-deprived, ever-blinking light bulbs can turn into tremendous, unexpected things in the kitchen.
Ben Grossmann of Dig A Pony in Portland is that ever-imagining kind of chef. He spent almost four years as sous chef at Nostrana, a James Beard favorite and Italian joint nine blocks away.

“We prefer to think of Thirteen Corners as the number of corners you get when you don’t cut any.” So says Wishkah River Distillery of their Thirteen Corners American Malt Whiskey, crafted in Aberdeen, Washington from a mash bill of malted barley, wheat and malted rye.
The distillate, which clocks in at a standard 80 proof, is set apart by the carefully struck balance of its mash bill.

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