The Hooch Life

5 Influential Craft Distilleries in the Pacific Northwest

The Pacific Northwest is one of the nation’s top spots for craft distilling. Oregon and Washington continue to support the craft distilling movement, and the rich natural resources of the area make it a perfect place for distillers concerned about using local ingredients. Many of these distillers in the Northwest have produced innovative new styles of spirits and influenced others across the nation to start distilleries of their own.



Bendistillery in Bend, OR was definitely on the forefront of the craft spirits movement in America. Jim Bendis started this distillery in 1996. He was inspired by Oregon's vast juniper forests and pure water that has been naturally filtered through layers of volcanic rock. This unbeatable combination is what makes his Crater Lake Gin so delicious. Read more »

Dry Fly Distilling


Dry Fly Distilling has quickly come to embody the craft spirits movement. Founded by two friends who bonded during fishing trips, Dry Fly uses local Washington state ingredients to make their vodka, gin and whiskey. They firmly believe that spirits should taste like the raw ingredients that go into the still, so you won't find flavorless vodka here. The distillery expanded last year to accomodate for increasing demand for their spirits. Read more »

House Spirits Distillery


Distiller Christian Krogstad got his start making craft beer, and quickly decided that craft spirits would be the next big thing. That's when he launched House Spirits in Portland, OR. Along with consultant Ryan Magarian, House Spirits is credited with introducing a "New Western" style gin that now typifies many gins coming out of America. This style of gin balances out the juniper bite with citrus flavors for a more rounded gin experience. Read more »

Oola Distillery

Kirby Kallas-Lewis

Like many craft distillers, Kirby Kallas-Lewis didn't start his career making spirits. He was an art gallery owner before he became a distiller, which is perhaps why he understands the value of foot traffic in the business. Oola shares space with two restaurants in the heart of Seattle's Capitol Hill district, which makes their products accessible to more customers in the city. For Oola, it's all about community and partnerships. Read more »

Ransom Spirits

Ransom Distiller profile

Ransom Spirits distiller Tad Seestedt wants you to taste the raw ingredients used to make his spirits. Whether he's reviving a traditional style like Old Tom gin, or inventing something new, like his Whippersnapper Whiskey made with corn and barley, Tad believes in traditional distilling methods to make his spirits taste better. Read more »

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The Hooch Life Guide to American Whiskey