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.
Top State Parks to Visit in Central Oregon
A trip to Central Oregon is usually one with ample time spent in the great outdoors. From the expansive high desert landscape to the Deschutes National Forest and all the rivers, lakes and sometimes volcanos in between, Central Oregon is an outdoor adventurer’s paradise. What better way to explore the region than to take a tour of the local state parks? To get started, check out these six state parks to get an idea of what Central Oregon is all about.
Central Oregon Campgrounds: Tumalo State Park
Forested setting: Check. Gentle flowing river to cool off in: Check. Toilets: Check. Showers: Check. Access to amenities in town: Check, check and check. Tumalo State Park is the state park in Bend’s backyard. It’s located outside the city limits but it’s just a couple of turns and a short, pretty drive from the middle of town.
8 Pictures That Will Have You Rethinking Some Life Decisions (Central Oregon Food Edition)
Is this plate from 5 Fusion and Sushi Bar art or food? (It’s food. Definitely food.)
Get Your “Ah-Ha” Beer Moment at Sunriver Brewing Company
Central Oregon can claim more breweries than quite a few states. We’re not exaggerating. Our region has 30+ breweries. That shows how much we care about craft beer but, it can make it tough to choose where to taste local brews, we get it!
Elk Lake Resort a Great Winter Getaway – And Getting There is Half the Fun
There’s a couple of ways to look at the annual winter closure of Cascade Lakes Scenic Byway: You can see it as cutting off your recreational access beyond the gate until the snow melts in the spring.
Brew it Yourself at Bend’s Immersion Brewing
Central Oregon’s thriving craft beer scene is a hugely popular experience for visitors to the High Desert. You can drink it. You can take a brewery tour and learn about it. And now, you can brew it yourself.
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.
Seven Stunning Central Oregon Landmarks—and the Beers Named In Their Honor
Is there a more quintessential Central Oregon experience than spending a day outdoors—and topping it off with a locally brewed beer at one of the region’s many craft breweries?
Winter Ales: How Deschutes Popularized the Style-and How Breweries Have Followed Suit in Central Oregon
In the summer of 1988, Deschutes Brewery opened in a converted law office in downtown Bend. In the decades since, the brewery has produced one memorable beer after another—from Black Butte Porter and Mirror Pond Pale Ale in Deschutes’ earliest days to the hit Fresh Squeezed IPA, which became a staple on store shelves in 2013.