It’s no secret that Oregon takes its beer very seriously. In a state that is overflowed with microbreweries, you don’t have to go much further than a 7/11 to get yourself a nice bottle of a local brand beer. So wouldn’t it be great if you could go to your neighborhood liquor store and get yourself a nice bottle of booze made right here in Oregon? Well now you can.
The 4 Spirits Distillery opened in Adair Village, Oregon last June with the goal of creating a local, small batch martini grade vodka. Owner Dawson Officer saw a rising trend in small batch distilleries popping up and jumped at the opportunity to start his own brand. Although the distillery is still in its infancy, 4 Spirits has already released to types of vodka: Web Foot and Slap Tail. If you haven’t already guessed, Web Foot is targeted towards us Ducks while Slap Tail is aimed at our rival Beaver fans up north.
The idea behind Web Foot and Slap Tail was to create high quality liquor that could compete with top shelf brand name vodkas; however you might not guess that by simply looking at the label. Each bottle has a cartoon of a duck and a beaver respectively, and let’s just say they both look as though they’ve had a long night of partying.
Although they take their vodka very seriously at the 4 Spirits Distillery, they also wanted to make sure that they had some fun in the process. “We wanted to do something that goes against typical marketing schemes,” explains Director of Sales and Marketing, Sarah Wayt. “It’s all in good slap stick fun.” Aside from the name and goofy cartoons, there’s also a serious side to the 4 Spirits Distillery’s story.
As a distillery, it’s easy for us to assume that the “4 spirits” in their name refer to four different types of liquor. But in reality, they refer to four fallen soldiers Officer knew during his military service from 2003 to 2004. The distillery is even working on a bourbon that will be released in September and will be featured in a more serious tribute bottle. Some of the proceeds will be donated to Oregon Reintegration, in hopes to better the lives of soldiers returning home from war.
So next time you’re browsing for some booze at your local liquor store, look for the bottle with a passed out duck on the label. You may be surprised at how seriously good a homegrown vodka could taste.