Stateways July-August 2011

StateWays is the only magazine exclusively covering the control state system within the beverage alcohol industry, with annual updates from liquor control commissions and alcohol control boards and yearly fiscal reporting from control jurisdictions

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CRAFT SPIRITS O 10 nce again, Oregon is at the forefront of a craft movement. This time it’s not beer, but spirits that are enjoying a diversity of offerings from local entrepreneurs. There are currently more than 30 craft distillers located in Oregon (and not just in Portland). They produce everything from absinthe to whiskey to brandy, taking advantage of the state’s culture and agriculture to develop a growing industry. Why Oregon? It’s more a question of why not, says Jim Dodge, purchasing manager at the Oregon Liquor Control Commission. Dodge says that Clear Creek Distillery (the state’s first) was allowed to open in the mid-80s because the state simply didn’t have any regulations against it. The owner was an Oregon native whose family owned pear orchards, so he had access to fruit for his products. Soon after, the state allowed the distillery to hold in-store tastings at the distillery, the OLCC distributed the product to retail outlets, and today the company distributes its products nationwide. The industry began with one distillery in Portland, but it didn’t take off until recently. “There was a significant change in the law a few years ago to allow craft distillers to become a retail liquor agent so they could sell their products at the dis- tillery,” Dodge says. “That was very well-received because it meant that visitors to the distillery didn’t have to go to a local liquor store to buy the product Opening a Craft Distillery in Oregon Step 1: Apply for federal permit and label approval. Step 2: Apply for OLCC distillery license and other relevant licenses and permits. An on- premise sales license is optional. Step 3: Apply to become a distillery retail outlet agent (optional). Source: OLCC’s Guide to Manufacturing and Wholesaling Distilled Spirits in Oregon StateWays s s July/August 2011 on the Rise

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