Central Oregon might be known for Craft Beer, but we’re also known for Craft Spirits.
“You can and people do make an entire vacation out of touring Central Oregon and all we have to offer in the culinary world,” said Alan Dietrich, CEO of Bendistillery.
Bendistillery opened in 1996 and has grown massively ever since. They’re best known for their Crater Lake Vodka but as soon as you visit their tasting room — it’s hard to miss their other claim to fame: an amazing view of the Cascades.
“When you stand on our back patio, you feel like you can really just reach up and touch the Three Sisters, the snow-capped peaks, the foothills and of course as it fades into our fields of Rye, it’s really spectacular,” said Dietrich.
Not only is the view breathtaking, it also offers a lesson of sorts as to why their spirits taste the way they do.
“Vodka is 60% water and without good water you can’t make a good product,” said Dietrich. “We get to actually point to the mountains and say, ‘That’s why the Crater Lake brand of spirits is so much better than anything in the world’, it’s because that water comes through the ground here and starts as snow.”
Photo credit to Jonathan Chandler
The snow-melt filters through lava rock naturally and so at Bendistillery that’s how they filter their spirits. Each year they sell tens of thousands* of cases of their spirits in 30 states and counting. Every bottle is handcrafted.
“It really offers us a chance to look at and feel every bottle, our quality control is impeccable, we can look at anything,” said Dietrich. “And because we’re a handmade product as well we want to make sure there aren’t any variations outside of what we would expect and during bottling is when we get to do a last check on that.”
The distillery is located on a 24-acre patch of land just north of Bend. In 2011, they began growing everything that goes into their Estate Line.
“That’s something we’re very proud of and it’s really probably the most rooted product in the land because we’re actually growing everything right here on site,” said Dietrich.
More inspiring stories, adventures, and tips & tricks for planning and experiencing the best Central Oregon has to offer.
The Culinary Food Scene in Bend, Oregon
It’s true that travel writers, vacationers and roadtrippers alike visit Bend for its wealth of adventure. In the past, hiking through the lush Deschutes National Forest or relaxing beachside at one of the crystalline Cascade Lakes may have been the top experiences that drew visitors to Bend. While the endless opportunities for adventure remain, there is a new, delicious drive pulling visitors into town: food.
Complete Guide to Food Trucks in Bend and the Surrounding Area
Over recent years, Bend, Oregon has become a foodie paradise. Aside from the nationally renowned chefs and the blossoming restaurant scene that offers tons of dining options, foodies now flock to Bend for a more indie dining experience. The food truck trend has proven to be much more than a trend, as more and more pods of deliciousness pop up around town. These pods typically include a variety of food trucks situated around a central location that more often than not acts as a tap house. Many of them offer indoor and outdoor seating, a variety of beer, wine and cider along with firepits, stages for musical performances and more. With so many spots each offering different food trucks to try, it might be tough to figure out where to start. Read on for a list of some highly recommended spots to try out, and start your own foodie adventure.
Bend Area Breweries: Where to Go and What to Get
It used to be our little secret: That along with the countless recreational opportunities in Bend and Central Oregon, there was a burgeoning craft beer scene. That trying to decide which brewpub to hit after a day skiing at Mt. Bachelor was a two chairlift ride discussion. There were options. And lots of good beer.