Spirits of the Northwest
With an emphasis on flavor rather than alcohol, the Pacific Northwest is rapidly becoming a leader in craft-oriented small-batch distilling.
By Cole Danehower
From the May/June 2011 issue
Just as the Northwest pioneered craft brewing in the 1980s, and as our regional wine scene developed during the same period, so today the region is home to a rapidly growing population of indie spirits crafting.
Artisan Northwest distillers are employing locally grown grains, fruits, and herbs in culinary-focused, spirits-based products that are finding favor with craft bartenders, home cocktail creators, restaurant bar programs, and in the kitchens of adventuresome chefs.
Far from being mundane booze, many of these products are expanding the characteristics of traditional spirits, while others are pushing out into entirely new realms of spirits production.
Here’s a look at at 19 new, interesting, and important products, producers, and people that are invigorating Northwest palates.