When I started writing about spirits, wine and beer in Portland back in 2011, the discourse was mostly focused on beer and wine. A few years later, spirits and cocktails started growing in popularity on social media and in local media coverage. Today, distilleries in Oregon get some attention with the bulk of coverage focused on the end result of using these products: cocktails. I even fall for the allurement of beautifully crafted cocktails and much of the High-Proof PDX coverage is both highlighting the cocktail and the spirits.
The more I began to write specifically about distilleries, I realized there wasn’t a good map out there of all of the distilleries. I looked to the Oregon Liquor Control Commission (OLCC), the state’s authority in drinking first. The map on the OLCC’s site was a bit antiquated—an illustrated map in the form of a PDF. Next, I wondered about obtaining a list of Oregon distilleries because I didn’t see anything on the organization’s website. After emailing them, I was directed to download an Excel sheet full of license acronyms. I was willing to decipher it, but would the general public? Probably not. I wanted to do something about it, so I created an Oregon distillery map (all distilleries with tasting rooms) and a complete list of Oregon distilleries, too. This map has been useful for me, and I’m sure you’ll find it useful as well.
Why This Map Matters
One advantage of having so many craft distillers in Oregon is that many of them have tasting rooms! With much of my focus for High-Proof PDX on Portland distilleries, I still have not visited all of the 60+ distilleries in the state. The next time you’re on a weekend getaway or a mini road trip around the state, consider all of the micro distilleries in Oregon you might be passing up!
You’ll pass up quite a few distilleries depending on your route to the coast but your best bet for tasting without a DD will be to visit distilleries after checking into your hotel or Airbnb. If you’re headed to Cannon Beach, plan on visiting Cannon Beach Distillery. Here you’ll find an excellent selection of rum, gin and whiskey—even a spirit made from agave. If the North Coast is your destination, don’t pass up Pilot House Distilling in Astoria or Seaside. Heading south down the coast, you’ll stumble upon Rogue Ales and Spirits’ quiet, somewhat hidden spirits tasting room in Newport, Oregon.
The (High) Desert
I know Bend is not really the desert but hey, there’s tumble weed so I count it. Bend has a ton of handful of great distilleries: BackDrop Distilling, Bendistillery (Crater Lake Spirits), Oregon Spirit Distillers, and Cascade Alchemy. You really could plan a distillery tasting trip in Bend!
The first time you go to the Gorge, and specifically Hood River, your first instinct may be to hit up brewery tasting rooms. Do it! Don’t forget about distilleries though too. Hood River Distillers, established in 1934 is a part of Oregon distilling history. At Hood River Distillers you can try spirits distilled on-site as well as other spirits brands under its ownership. Don’t pass Camp 1805’s tasting room, which serves full-size tasting room (and white whiskey) with a full menu of food.
When you’re searching out the next Oregon spirits distillery to check out, I hope you find this map helpful. Contact me if you notice an error—or even worse—a missing distillery with a tasting room!