Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Drinking Locally - microdistilleries

I've been trying for the last few years to make a real effort to buy products, especially food, made as close to home as possible. The real motivation came after reading "Animal Vegetable, Miracle", by Barbara Kingsolver. She details a year in her families life as they try to produce and eat only locally grown food. Locally grown food is fresher, healthier, better for the environment and if bought from local farmers, supports your community. I like the fact that if I grow it, I know exactly what is put on it and into the soil, and we tend to eat healthier, since we were directly involved in the effort to produce and grow it.

Recently, an empty bottle of gin brought me to the local liquor store here in town. In Oregon, all "hard" alcohol is sold only in state owned liquor stores, and luckily the one here carries a very nice selection of locally distilled spirits. I was quite surprised at just how many of these micro distilleries there are here in Oregon. I did a bit of research and found this map of US micro-distilleries, and was even more surprised at how many there are through out the US. Yes, they cost a bit more, as with most items that are made in small batches on a local scale, but they're also superior once again in taste, and travel fewer miles. The one I picked out is from Bendistillery, out of Bend, Oregon. It makes perfect sense that gin, which is made from Juniper berries, would be made in Bend, an area rich with Juniper trees. They make other spirits as well. And since we don't go through large amounts of hard alcohol, this bottle should last a while. But it is awfully good....

What other local products do you use or know about?

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