In Portland’s old days — a less civilized time when the city teemed with pirates, smugglers and outlaws — careless revelers who consumed too many libations might have been “shanghaied,” or kidnapped, and whisked away to work on the sea.
Today, there’s a safer way to get your passport punched while enjoying some fine cocktails: a trip through Portland’s Distillery Row. The epicenter of the emerging craft distillery movement, this former warehouse district is home to a slew of independent, small-batch spirit makers who have put Portland on the map of liquor connoisseurs, and great bottles on the shelf of bartenders worldwide.
From House Spirits, which concocts the botanical-infused Aviation Gin, to New Deal Distillery, whose Hot Monkey Vodka is flavored with five chili peppers, Portland’s potables are known for inventive ingredients, consistent blends and fine detail.
The 2012 Distillery Row Passport is an excellent way to make sure you don’t miss out on any of Portland’s amazing bottles. Not only do passport holders benefit from no-fee tastings and tours, they also save on everything from food to entertainment at more than 50 participating businesses throughout the area. And, with the addition of Bushwhacker, Portland’s first urban cidery, and Alchemy Wine Productions, a new in-city vintner, the world of Portland’s small-batch scene just keeps getting larger.