Willamette Week article: Viking Drunk. It’s Aquavit Week. Here’s where to get caraway crunk.  To read the entire article go to “http://www.wweek.com/2015/12/08/viking-drunk/
By Matthew Korfhage
Updated December 8
Published December 8

Aquavit is the tequila of Denmark, the vodka of Norway, and the only thing guaranteed to make a Swede sing. The grain liquor is traditionally spiced with a blend of herbs such as anise, caraway and dill. Its name literally means “water of life,” and it was once thought to cure everything from gout to deafness, plus stop the dead from rotting. As an old Danish cookbook from 1616 says, “He who rubs the skin on his head and face with aquavit has always beautiful skin, strengthens the mind and brain.”

But until a decade ago, when Portland distillery House Spirits began making the first American aquavit, it was almost unavailable in the United States. In fact, only Norwegian Linie could be found. Even today, it’s hard to get the Scandie stuff: About half of the aquavits available in the U.S. are made in Oregon and Washington.

To celebrate the obscure but wondrous herbal liquor, local bartender Jacob Grier founded Aquavit Week four years ago, with aquavit cocktails at more than 30 bars till Dec. 12 (full list at aquavitweek.com).

TRADITIONS OF AQUAVIT

Denmark

Danes do aquavit like a shot of Jack. You raise your shot and clink glasses while always looking your clink partner in the eye (otherwise you lose your hair), tap the glass on the table and down it in one gulp. Then, you down a beer, too. Denmark is basically one giant, well-mannered frat house.

Sweden

When Swedes drink, they sing—there are around 9,000 drinking songs in the national registry. In 1957, when the Swedes won the world ice hockey championships, they didn’t know the words to their own national anthem so instead they sang a drinking song, “Helan Gar,” which loosely translates as “the whole one goes down.” ABBA and the Cardigans are also best understood only when drunk.

Norway

Norwegians drink aquavit like Russians do vodka: with hard bread and pickled fish. If you eat, you drink, and vice versa. Those are the rules. Also, for whatever reason, Norwegian aquavit like Linie is aged in oak on a boat, and must cross the equator twice to be certified as Norwegian aquavit. This reminds the Norwegians of their history as drunken pillagers, but with fewer casualties.

PORTLAND-MADE AQUAVITS
House Spirits Krogstad Aquavit
Just as many American craft gins are floral because of House Spirits’ lavender-rich Aviation, American aquavit leans hard on anise because of the influence of House Spirits’ Krogstad, which tastes like steroidal Fernet.

Rolling River Ole Bjørkevoll
Rolling River is making a specialty out of aquavit, with a fennel-caraway holiday version, a caraway small batch and a very dilly original aquavit that’s light and crisp on the tongue.

Temperance Regnig Dag
Bull Run Distillery’s aquavit is aged in wine barrels and released each December—this year’s batch is sweet and anise-forward, balanced against the crackle of caraway.

Our tasting room is closed New Year’s Day.  We’ll be open regular hours Saturday 1/2/16 and Sunday 1/3/16 from noon to 5 pm.  Happy Holidays!

Our Tasting Room will be open the usual days and hours Thanksgiving Weekend, Friday through Sunday, noon to 5pm.

And, on Friday November 27, we will be at Black Friday on Distillery Row with 7 other Distillery Row distilleries and several of Portland’s most unique food, beverage, and crafts artisans at The Melody Ballroom 11am to 5pm. The event is FREE! The Melody Ballroom is located at 615 SE Alder St. Portland.

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Black Friday on Distillery Row!
Members of Distillery Row are getting into the spirit of the season with their 4th Annual Black Friday on Distillery Row holiday shopping extravaganza at Melody Ballroom in Southeast Portland.

The event offers a unique opportunity to sample and purchase bottled spirits from eight Distillery Row distilleries–New Deal Distillery, House Spirits, Stone Barn Brandyworks,Eastside Distilling, Vinn Distillery, Rolling River Spirits, Wild Roots Vodka, and Thomas & Sons Distillery–all under one roof.

Also on hand will be samples and goods for sale from several of Portland’s most unique food, beverage, and crafts artisans, including Alma Handmade Chocolates, Cardamom Hills Trading Co, Alesia Zorn Calligraphy, Masala Pop, Marshall’s Haute Sauce, Portland Creamery,Smashed! Boozy Jams & Jellies, Sage & Sea Farms, Marigold Coffee, Mee Mee’s Goodies, Think Unique Gardens and more.

Friday, November 27, 2015

11:00 AM to 5:00 PM (PST)
Melody Ballroom
615 Southeast Alder Street
Portland, OR 97214

FREE!

Join us for a madcap literary adventure with the inaugural Lit Crawl Portland on the night of Saturday, November 7 after Wordstock.  Lit Crawl Portland is a collaboration between Literary Arts Presents Wordstock: Portland’s Book Festival and the Litquake Foundation.

Full schedule of ‪#‎LitCrawlPDX programs on the Literary Arts website!  Locations, times, and authors.

FORGED IN THE FIRES OF HELL at Rolling River Spirits, Saturday, November 7th, from 7:30pm – 9:15pm.
Anvil Press and University of Hell Press team up for an exclusive event as part of Lit Crawl Portland, immediately following Wordstock on Here’s our program.

Phase One “FIRE”
7:30pm – 8:15pm
FEATURING
Brian S. Ellis, University of Hell Press, “Often Go Awry” and “American Dust Revisited”
Kevin Spenst, Anvil Press, “Jabbering with Bing Bong”
Sean Aaron Bowers, University of Hell Press, “We Were Warriors”

Phase Two “WATER”
8:30pm – 9:15pm
FEATURING
Joseph Edwin Haeger, University of Hell Press, “Learn to Swim”
Jeff Steudel, Anvil Press, “Foreign Park”
Leah Noble Davidson, University of Hell Press, “Poetic Scientifica”

FIRE + WATER = FIREWATER

COME JOIN US

Sunflowers by Debbie Marvin

 

Debbie Marvin’s paintings will be shown in the Rolling River Spirits tasting room gallery from November 6 through November 29th.    Join us Friday, November 6 from 5:00 to 7:30 pm for First Friday – Portland’s Eastside Artwalk  artist reception.

About the Artist:
My name is Debbie Marvin and I was born and raised in the Northwest. I am a painter, a pianist and a writer. As a child, I did a lot of drawings but did not start dabbling in paints until I was in my early 30’s. My favorite mediums are watercolor and acrylic.
I am a self-taught artist that firmly believes everyone has artistic talent within them. I am drawn to color and specifically am attracted to the unique beauty and variety of colors nature provides us with flowers. Botanicals have been my theme for the last year or more, though I also enjoy painting landscapes and ocean scenery.

Visit Debbie’s website caringart.org

We’ll be down in Eugene this Saturday August 15 for the first ever Hard Times Distillery Expo at the Hult Center.  Sample the best of Oregon’s many distilled spirits.  Live music, great food, cocktails, ciders, beer, and unlimited samples of locally made spirits.

Tickets are only $25 and available at:
http://purchase.tickets.com/buy/TicketPurchase?&pid=8059158

 

Oregon Distillers Festival

Saturday, July 18, 2015, 4-7 p.m.

Summer is so close you can almost taste it, especially over at McMenamins Edgefield where The Oregon Distillers Guild and McMenamins will host the second annual Oregon Distillers Festival on Saturday, July 18.

 

Taking place under the shade of the fir trees at McMenamins Edgefield, this spirited soiree will bring together more than 100 Oregon-made spirits from distilleries throughout the state including Edgefield, Camp 1805 Distillery, House Spirits, Rolling River, Big Bottom Distillery and more.

 

For just $30, guests receive 14 tokens to sample locally made spirits and cocktails alongside complimenting hors d’oeuvres provided by Black Rabbit Restaurant Chef Chris Rattaro.

 

Tickets are available at: http://www.etix.com/ticket/online/performanceSearch.jsp?performance_id=5293986

 

Address:

2126 SW Halsey Street

Troutdale, OR 97060
(503) 669-8610