Distilled in Central Oregon | The Source Weekly - Bend, Oregon

Distilled in Central Oregon

BackDrop Distilling whips up an award-winning vodka

When it comes to beer and spirits, Central Oregonians get to enjoy more than their fair share of variety. From new upstarts offering fun new flavors to longtime mainstays that continually bring in creative takes on old favorites, there's no shortage of stuff to stir, sip and savor in the drinks department here in the good ol' C-O.

Not only are we blessed with an abundance of variety, but we're also blessed to swirl our shakers using some of the best ingredients. Case in point: BackDrop Distilling's vodka. The vodka, created with organic wheat, recently won a double-gold medal at the International Spirits Awards in Seattle – the Pacific Northwest's largest distilled spirits and liqueurs awards program. But just in case you're wondering how that local spirit stacks up in a non-PacNW audience, there's this: BackDrop's vodka also won the silver medal at the Los Angeles International Spirits competition this June.

"International recognition is humbling and we owe it to our fans, friends and family, and want to thank everyone supporting the little guy!," says BackDrop's owner Mark Plants.

The distillery is located inside the GoodLife Brewing building—a pairing that is pretty uncommon, both locally and nationally. In fact, BackDrop is the first distillery in Oregon located inside a brewery. It might be unusual, but the arrangement works well for people who might like to branch out from a beer-only night – or who want to see the two brands join forces to create the unique, inspired beverages Central Oregonians' palates demand.

To that end, the two brands have plans to collaborate on drinks that combine craft spirits and craft beers, as well as swapping barrels. Plants is in the midst of playing with a "hop spirit" that uses one of GoodLife's beers. The spirit doesn't have a name yet, but with that mashup, we're hoping for something clever and very Central Oregonian.

For now though, Central Oregonians can start enjoying BackDrop's gin as soon as next quarter, and a single-malt whiskey is already in barrels. As a way to celebrate the craft cocktail movement, the team at GoodLife is already offering a series of BackDrop infusions at the brewery on Century Drive every Wednesday.

So the next time you're with a friend who's more of a cocktail junkie than a beer head, neither one of you will have to compromise.

Visit backdropdistilling.com to find a full list of location where BackDrop is available.

Nicole Vulcan

Nicole Vulcan has been editor of the Source since 2016. You can mostly find her raising chickens, walking dogs, riding all the bikes and attempting to turn a high desert scrap of land into a permaculture oasis.
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