House Spirit's Westward Whiskey Is Inspired By Craft Beer
What is the first thing that comes to mind when House Spirits is mentioned? Is it their former brand Aviation American Gin that they still distill yet the brand was sold in 2016 to New York based Davos Brands, LLC? Their first location on distillery row (next to Roots Brewing) and near several other distilleries, or their highly regarded Westward American Single Malt Whiskey? What, beer does not come to mind.
In a recent media event I had the privilege of learning how craft beer has influenced House Spirits Westward American Single Malt Whiskey. Before I get into that Distill Ventures, the independently operated and Diageo-backed accelerator has recently invested in House Spirits and the Westward brand. More on that here.
Christian Krogstad, the co-founder of House Spirits is a former brewer and attended the Siebel Institute. He started his brewing career in the early 1990’s at the then newly added brewery at Mcmenamin’s Edgefield location in Troutdale, Oregon. While brewing at Edgefield he and fellow brewer Lee Medoff gained an appreciation for distilling and opened House Spirits in 2004.
Ok, Now to the beer part:
Westward American Single Malt is a celebration of the American pioneer spirit, inspired by the best of the American craft beer and whiskey traditions. Brewed and distilled using locally malted Pacific Northwest barley and ale yeast, perfected by years of maturation at the distillery’s rack house, and mingled in small batches, Westward is the culmination of a quest to produce a whiskey that embodies the spirit of the Pacific Northwest and draws inspiration from Oregon’s deeply-rooted craft brewing culture.
Founder Christian Krogstad began distilling American single malt whiskey when he founded House Spirits Distillery nearly 15 years ago. A promising North American whiskey category, American single malts grew 131% from 2014-2017, according to IWSR. In 2015, under the direction of CEO and Co-Owner Thomas Mooney, Westward became the largest independent distiller of American single malt whiskey when it built its new Portland, Oregon distillery. On a typical day, the distillery team brews 3,000 gallons of pale ale whiskey wash, which is double-pot distilled to produce enough whiskey to fill five to six new barrels of Westward American Single Malt whiskey. - Diageo
A visual Tour of House Spirits:
Lead Distiller Miles Monroe pouring Migration beer (aged in House Spirits barrels) alongside House Spirits Co-Founder Christian Krogstad. Miles is a former brewer of Migration Brewing who continues to collaborate with his former employer today.
What you see when you first walk into the tasting room.
Miles Monroe alongside Christian Krogstad describing the brewhouse where the base of the Whiskey is made. Northwest 2 Row Pale Ale malt is used with Ale yeast. The process if faster than brewing beer since no hops are used in making the mash.
Westward Whiskey on display and ready to be sampled.
Miles Monroe in front of the still for Westward Whiskey
A delicious Old Fashioned made by my wife Josie using Westward Single Malt Whiskey.
Check out this facility and tasty spirits yourself through a tour or class here.
Distillery and Tasting Room
65 SE Washington St., Portland, OR 97214
Sun-Thur 12PM – 7PM
Fri-Sat 12PM – 8PM
PDX Tasting Room
Portland International Airport (PDX)
After Security, Near Gate C8
5am – 10pm, 365 days a year