Spirited Libations: Portland’s Distillery Row read article here or below.


By Carrie Uffindell

For the first time since prohibition, independent micro-distilleries are creating high-quality artisan spirits in Southeast Portland, Oregon. Dubbed Distillery Row, these six distilleries and their tasting rooms offer more than 20 handcrafted libations. Contrary to the name, these distilleries are not in a row, but are sprinkled across several blocks.


Eastside Distilling

Inspired by the rums he encountered in the Caribbean, owner Lenny Gotter founded Eastside Distilling (formerly Deco) in 2009. Five years later, Eastside now produces four rums (including a smooth coffee rum), two bourbons, two fruit whiskeys and a potato-based vodka. “We want to appeal to many different palates,” says master distiller Mel Heim. eastsidedistilling.com


Vinn Distillery

Owned and operated by the Ly family, Vinn crafts rice-based spirits using legacy recipes that have been handed down through their family for at least seven generations. Their spirits include Baijiu, a traditional Chinese beverage, two styles of Chinese rice wine, and a creamy sipping vodka. New summer libations are a barrel-aged whiskey, blackberry liqueur and a lemoncello. vinndistillery.com


Rolling River Spirits

Owners Rick, Joan, and Tim Rickard opened Rolling River’s doors to the public in May. Current spirits available are a gin and a vodka made with organic grains. In the works are a scotch-inspired whiskey and a coffee-infused vodka. Check out the tasting room’s unique wooden bar, fashioned from reclaimed mahogany by master distiller Tim. rollingriverspirits.com


House Spirits Distillery

Inspired by pre-prohibition spirits and cocktails, House Spirit’s most innovative libation is an American-style gin. “American gins helped invent the cocktail,” says Christian Krogstad, one of the distillery’s three owners. “But most were destroyed during prohibition.” Other flavorful creations include a malt whiskey and two Scandinavian-inspired aquavits. housespirits.com


Stone Barn Brandyworks

Founded by owners Erika and Sebastian Degens, Stone Barn Brandyworks produces a variety of regionally sourced fruit brandies, including a dry pear and a Northwest cherry, as well as brandy-based fruit liqueurs, rye- and oat-based whiskeys and a grappa. “We started with a love of fruit and different liqueurs inspired by season,” says Sebastian. stonebarnbrandyworks.com


New Deal Distillery

The oldest distillery on the Row, New Deal has been producing high-quality spirits since 2004 by owner and master distiller Tom Berkleaux. His libations include a clean sipping vodka, a dry juniper-forward gin, a chocolate-infused vodka, a ginger liqueur and a variety of small-batch limited releases. Enjoy samples while admiring the building’s exposed wooden beams and gleaming copper stills. newdealdistillery.com


For more information on tasting room locations, hours and special events—and to purchase a Distillery Row Passport, entitling you to a complimentary flight at all six distilleries—visit distilleryrowpdx.com. A carefree way to visit the Row without driving is via PDX Pedicab; they offer a special Distillery Row Tour Package at pdxpedicab.com.

Tatyana Ostapenko is a Soviet Union (now independent Ukraine) born visual artist living and working in Portland, OR.  Her expressive paintings explore the unsung mundanity and the overlooked details of everyday life.  Lived experience and intimate knowledge is vitally important to her process of image creating in which she employs the infinitely expressive medium to explore the gray scale of the everyday.  Tatyana’s work has been exhibited at Mark Wooley Gallery, Newspace Center for Photography, Chehalem Cultural Center, Cascade Gallery and Nisus Gallery.

She is currently pursuing a BFA in Art Practice at Portland State University.

Her work can be seen at http://tatyanaostapenko.com

The art of Donald Edward Brown will be shown in the Rolling River Spirits tasting room during the month of May. Brown is an award-winning painter who lives in Portland and focuses on portraiture. He works with ink, pencil, acrylic, and creates mixed media abstract works.

He will attend our grand opening on Friday, May 2, 5 pm – 9 pm, so stop by to meet the artist and try our first Vodka release. For more information on Donald, please visit his website.

Our tasting room is officially open!
Friday: 4:30 pm – 7 pm
Saturday & Sunday: 12 pm – 5 pm
Weekdays: By appointment

Follow us on Facebook to stay updated on future events!

Master Distiller, Tim Rickard, built Joan a micro-still to use for making experimental batches. See our Q&A with Tim on his hand-built stills.
What is unique about working with such a small still?
Because of its small size, each batch takes about 8 hours to run and usually yields about one cup of spirits.
What have you made so far?
So far, I have distilled a couple batches of vodka, but mostly I’ve been distilling gin. I’ve tried about 20 different variations of my gin recipe. One of the last runs was pretty close to the flavor I’m trying to achieve. I expect it will take at least another 20 to 50 runs before I’m happy with it.

Anything you would like to make in the future?

For now I want to perfect my gin recipe. Later, I would like to try some fruit brandy. It’s fun to try new and different flavor combinations.

We are thrilled to announce that our new website is now live! Here you will find information on our family history, distilling philosophy, tasting room and more.

After a visit to our distillery, opening this winter, you will notice that our handmade bar resemble’s a ship’s hull, the end curved like that of a boat’s. See our Facebook page for more distillery photos.

Be sure to let us know what you think of our new website on Facebook.

We have some great tasting room progress updates for you, including some photos from our building construction that are now available for viewing on our Facebook page.

Rolling River Spirits will be featured in this season’s Distillery Row Passport — the ultimate guide to Portland’s Distillery Row!

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After a couple years of preparation, we have officially launched Rolling River Spirits, our family-owned and operated craft distillery project located on Portland’s Distillery Row.

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Our name, Rolling River, is inspired by the majestic rivers in the Portland area and underscores the importance of pure water in the distillation process.

We are planning to craft our initial batch of Vodka and will then introduce Gin, Whiskey and other spirits.

Master Distiller, Tim Rickard, will personally create each of our blends, working with his own custom-designed stills.

We will be opening our tasting room late this spring and will send our mailing list members an exclusive pre-opening invitation.

We look forward to introducing you to our craft spirits and meeting you in the tasting room. In the meantime, join us online at www.RollingRiverSpirits.com to follow our progress. Also, be sure to connect with us on Facebook and Twitter.