I’m three coffees deep and waiting for the rest of my team to meet me at the curb in front of the Jupiter Hotel (a converted 1962 moto-lodge)in SE Portland. We booked our rooms there specifically because it was only a 15 minute walk from House Spirits Distillery. However, off the record, this place also has a list of local amenities you can add-on when you book your room, stuff like - have an ice-cold bucket of beer waiting, schedule a tattoo session during your stay, add a famous pink box of voodoo donuts, and something called the “everything but the weed” kit. Very Portland.
We head off on foot towards the distillery – it’s just SE a bit, located right over the train tracks by the mighty Willamette River. As we approach the last block, a cargo train goes by and we wait 15 minutes for it to pass so we can cross the tracks. As the big metal railcars rumble by, we can see little flashes of the distillery and what looks like a large white grain tank.
[attempts Bogart’s voice in Casablanca]
Of all the gin joints, in all the towns, in all the world – she walks into... House Spirits Distillery.
It’s home of the one and only American original – Aviation Gin. And I’m not going to lie, I had expected something extremely corporate, a very large-scale, sterile facility. After all, we’ve all seen the Ryan Reynolds ads, these guys were no ma + pop operation – they probably have machines doing all the work and people walking around with clipboards and white lab coats. I was sure of it.
But that couldn’t be farther from the truth.
To be continued… Stay tuned for part II with our friends at Aviation Gin.
Words + Video by Rebecca Simms, Creative Director // Questions? Comments? Email: firstname.lastname@example.org