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Oregon and Alcohol

Pete Springer/OPB

Despite the dismal economy, Oregon’s alcohol industry has something to toast. From beer to wine to spirits, the state’s alcohol industry is enjoying very strong growth. According to the Portland Business Journal, the number of breweries in Oregon grew from 90 to 110 between 2008 and 2010. In Portland, six breweries have opened in the past year. And the new kid on the block, distilled spirits, isn’t suffering either — no fewer than 12 distilleries are located in Oregon.

All this may be surprising for a state that, in 1916, imposed its own prohibition on alcohol, three years before the US banned liquor nationally.

Also, do you know the difference between a Jupiter and a Feliz Nog y Nog? They’re cocktails, but would you ever think to order one of these at your local bar? With the growth of craft beers and craft spirits in Oregon, craft bartending is a natural result. Tommy Klus tends bar at Portland’s Teardrop Lounge and at the brand new St. Jack restaurant (from where this show will be broadcast). He’ll tell us about his favorite locally produced spirits and explain the art of a great cocktail.

We’ll explore the reasons for this alcohol industry boom in Oregon, Oregon’s history with alcohol and how the Oregon Liquor Control Commission came into being.

Do you drink local beer, wine or spirits? Which is your favorite, and why?

Editor’s Note: The show will be broadcast live from St. Jack restaurant.


Steve Pharo: Executive director of Oregon Liquor Control Commission

Chris Hermann: Partner at Stoel Rives LLP

Brian Butenschoen: Executive director of Oregon Brewers Guild

Kyle Jansson: Coordinator, Oregon Heritage Commission

Tommy Klus: Bartender at St. Jack restaurant and Teardrop Lounge, Portland

Karen Foley: Publisher of Imbibe Magazine

alcohol economy liquor living oregon

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