Eastside Distilling's tasty lineup of spirits draws accolades from fans near and far, with the small-batch outfit taking home hardware including a gold medal at the 2012 MicroLiquor Spirit Awards and SIP Magazine's runner-up in the Best of Spirits section for Best Brown Liquor for their Burnside Bourbon, _Portland Mercury_?s 2011 Readers' Choice award for favorite distillery, and a silver medal from the 2011 World Spirits Competition for their Below Deck Coffee Rum. Within the tasting room, visitors sample libations such as the Portland Potato Vodka, their Below Deck rum line, Cherry Bomb Whiskey or Oregon Marionberry Whiskey.
No strangers to the art of winemaking, the Wetzel family?s roots run deep into the vineyards that surround their winery. For four generations, they have crafted award-winning wines in Germany, and for the last 35, they have called Oregon home. Chateau Bianca Winery peeks out from the Willamette Valley, where pinot noir grapes flourish across the estate vineyards. These carefully cultivated grapes eventually fill bottles with varietals such as the 2009 Chateau Bianca Estate pinot blanc, a dry, clean-finishing wine that makes a refreshing apertif.
Guests visit the tasting room to sample some of Chateau Bianca?s wines, where each day a rotating selection of six bottles are uncorked for swirling and sipping. On days when the summer sun dapples the fields and shimmers playfully off Bacchus?s lampshade hat, sippers relax on the outdoor patio to enjoy a glass or share a bottle while looking out across rows of vines.
Making Better Booze
All distilleries offer spirits, but few offer hope. That's not the case with New Deal Distillery, whose manifesto reminds readers that ". . . things can suck, but that you can still find your good things and your joy."
Crafting the Product
Celebrating 10 years in business, New Deal Distillery uses a custom-made Christian Carl copper still to make all of their products and spirits, which range from the award-winning Hot Monkey vodka to the savory, full-bodied winter gin.
Drinking on Distillery Row
Stop by the distillery's tasting room to sample its offerings?including those from the Distiller's Workshop Series. Located on Portland's Distillery Row, New Deal is open to visitors Wednesday?Sunday, five out of the seven days of the week that are best for boozing.
According to Portland Monthly, Stone Barn Brandyworks team Sebastian and Erika Degens "are not afraid to follow their curiosity." The proof is in the eclectic variety of booze the two have dreamed up, a testament to their willingness to try anything. What they describe as "craft distilled, regional fruit brandies and brandy-based liqueurs," the high-proof fruits of their labor include a pear brandy, liqueur infused with locally-roasted coffee, and ouzo from pinot gris pomace. And of course when those fruits aren't in season, they make whiskey?including their award-winning unoaked rye.