Latest News

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Dark Corner Makes History

Our friends at Dark Corner Distillery are making history in South Carolina with the release of their first ever straight rye whiskey. Here are the details from their press release: 

Dark Corner Distillery continues to live up to their reputation as pioneers of the craft distilled spirits movement in the Palmetto State. This Friday, July the 25th at 11:00am, guests of the distillery will have the opportunity to purchase a bottle of Dark Corner’s most esteemed release to date; Carolina Straight Rye Whiskey. “It’s extremely limited (only 115 bottles), aged for over 2 years, and will be a welcomed first for South Carolina” says distillery founder, Joe Fenten.

 "Notes of porridge, dried fruit, rice pudding and honeyed tobacco waft the air, followed by a welcomed dose of salt & pepper, coconut and vanilla toffee on the palate. A deep, bold rye whiskey that's sure to delight any true whiskey aficionado” notes  Head Distiller, Paul Fulmer.

Founded in 2011, Dark Corner Distillery is a Greenville, SC based micro distillery most famous for producing the World’s Best Moonshine. Defined by heritage, the distillery offers visitors to the store on Greenville’s Main Street a unique experience, including product tastings and distillery tours.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Oregon Distillers Festival

The emergence of Oregon as a mecca of craft distilling was showcased for the curious front and center recently at the adult playland known as McMenamins’ Edgefield just outside of Portland. Here, under a big top tent on a hot Saturday in July, were poured some of the Beaver State’s finest spirits for those in attendance at the Oregon Distillers Festival.

Around 20 distilleries took part in the four hour event at the flagship property of the brewpub chain known throughout the Pacific Northwest for taking old unique properties and turning them into fanciful watering holes. To be certain, McMenamins’ had both of its distilleries, one at Edgefield itself and another from its Cornelius Pass Roadhouse property, represented, but also on display were small shop operations ranging from the Oregon coast to the high desert and beyond.

One of the newest Oregon distilleries offering up samples of its spirits was Cannon Beach Distillery. Owner Mike Selberg and a female companion were showcasing two rums and an agave spirit. Selberg’s liquors are award winning, he noted, which is impressive when you consider his is mostly a one man operation producing only 400 to 500 cases a year.

Down the row a bit from Cannon Beach was Bull Run DistillingCompany, whose primary focus is upon whiskey. Lee Medoff, one of those heading operations at the distillery, ironically spent some of his formative time in the industry as a brewer at McMenamins. Bull Run was pouring two of its whiskies, one of which was described taste wise as starting like a Canadian whiskey and finishing like an Irish, along with a rum as well.

While most distilleries were showing off whiskies, rums, vodkas and other well known spirit types, a few were also offering samples of what would best be described as pre-mixed cocktails. One of these was Northwest Distillery. Owner Meghan Zonich had at the ready Hello Lovely, a refreshing concoction best enjoyed when served chilled and characterized as a “spirited strawberry lemonade” made from Oregon vodka, natural strawberry/lemon flavor, and pure cane sugar.

Not to be outdone by the visiting distilleries, theMcMenamins’ offerings on display at its two tables had plenty takers during the festival. The Edgefield distillery showcased its regular stable of spirits as well a new offering known as Aval Pota. This malt whiskey distillation, consisting of freshly pressed Oregon apples as well as organic brown sugar and cinnamon, was described by one event goer as tasting like “apple pie.”

As for Cornelius Pass Roadhouse, it was pouring samples of a new, and as yet unreleased, aged whiskey beside a tasty hazelnut liqueur.

All in all, it was a solid showing by members of the Oregon distilling crowd and a reminder that the emerging craft spirits movement is taking the liquor industry in directions it has never really considered before.

Nino Marchetti, a freelance writer out of Portland, runs his own whiskey blog known as The Whiskey Wash ( and writes about lifestyle and consumer technology topics. Nino has over 10 years of freelancing experience writing for print and online ventures. When not writing, he can be found exploring his favorite haunts around the city or enjoying a good glass of whiskey or beer. Look for more on the Oregon craft spirit scene from Nino here @MicroShiner.

Friday, July 11, 2014

Spotlight: Raff Distillerie

We only recently learned about Raff Distillerie, a craft distiller located on Treasure Island in San Francisco Bay. The distillery utilizes a hybrid still hand built by owner and master distiller Carter Raff to craft absinthe and gin.

Keep an eye out for more from MicroShiner on Raff Distillerie and its products. Until then, please take a moment to visit them here

Monday, July 7, 2014

Drinking Music: The Tribe - Vol. 1

When it comes to epicenters of hip hop music, the college town of Missoula doesn't immediately leap to mind. Known more for selling out Pearl Jam and Yonder Mountain shows, this small city in Western Montana actually has a surprisingly active hip hop scene, and RezErected Records is at its center. 

With roots on the Flathead Reservation, RezErected just dropped a compilation album aptly named The Tribe: Volume 1, which features a number of tracks from their stable of artists. If you're in the mood for some solid beats and an interesting perspective, give it a try.

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Alchemy Bottle Shop Celebrates with Free Tasting

We're big fans of Alchemy Bottle Shop, and if you're in the Bay Area, we recommend them for all your spirit needs. They were recently granted license to provide tastings on-site, and are celebrating this and the holiday weekend with a free tasting of Caledonia Spirits on Saturday, July 5th at their Grand Avenue location from 4 to 7 pm.

Here it is in their own words:

At Long Last...We finally have our distilled spirits tasting license!

Come celebrate as we kick off our tastings with Caledonia Spirits from Vermont, makers of the incredible Barr Hill Vodka and Gins. Stop by on Saturday July 5th from 4-7pm to join in on the fun. As always tastings are free, so bring some friends!

Here's a preview of what we'll be tasting:

Barr Hill Vodka: made entirely from honey, this vodka is unlike anything else out there. Floral, creamy, ridiculously smooth, and lightly sweet, you've got to taste this to believe it.

Barr Hill Gin: made with pure grain spirit, juniper berry, and raw honey. Fresh and aromatic, with light notes of orange blossom.

Tom Cat Barrel Aged Gin: a play on the Old Tom style, this is Barr Hill Gin transformed by time in new American oak barrels. Reborn with added flavors of toasted nuts, woody spice, and creamy texture, this is yet again proof that time in a barrel can do fantastic things for gin.

Hope to see you there!

Alchemy Bottle Shop
3256 Grand Ave
Oakland, CA 94610

Cocktail of the Day: Breckenridge Distillery

This warm weather cocktail from Liquid Chef Billie Keithley was drink of the month at Breckenridge Distillery this past June. Give it a try while you're out enjoying the long holiday weekend!

1-1/2oz Breckenridge Vodka
1/4oz Crème de Violette
2 Drops Gooseberry Extract
Citrus Soda
Garnish/Hibiscus in syrup

Stir 1st 3 ingredients
Top with citrus soda
Violette Fix

Monday, June 30, 2014

2bar Plans Expansion to Meet Demand

We've been following 2bar since they opened their doors, which wasn't all that long ago. Like many micro-distillers with a solid business plan, demand has already outstripped their production capacity, so founder Nathan Kaiser has put plans in motion to expand their operation.

Here it is from Nathan:

2bar Spirits is doubling their production to keep up with the overwhelming demand. To ensure all libation enthusiasts in the state of Washington have their satisfactions met, the distillery has planned to expand and upgrade their current SODO facility.

“At the moment we are not able to meet supply and demand,” said Nathan Kaiser, founder of 2bar Spirits. “With the expansion we will be able to increase our production of Vodka, Moonshine, and Bourbon while still keeping the operation 100% local grain-to-glass approach to making spirits.”

The plan will include upgrading their brew house, stills, and equipment to increase production. This will increase the availability of 2bar Spirits Vodka and Moonshine at their more than 250 distribution locations. 2bar Spirits also has plans to invest in expanding their Bourbon production, which is currently selling out before it can even reach store shelves.

About 2bar Spirits:

2bar Spirits is descended from five generations who ranched their land under the 2bar brand. For more than a century we have stood for quality, independence, and hard work. Now those characteristics extend to 2bar Spirits, handcrafted in Seattle, Washington.

Get down to 2bar today and get your hands on the latest release of 2bar Bourbon. Batch #6 now available at the distillery, online and via many locations in Washington.