This week, on Portland’s Inner East Side, House Spirits Distillery opened the doors to its swanky new tasting room, HQ and distillery 16 – a move that now makes it the largest distillery in the Pacific Northwest and allows the company to increase its capacity six-fold. Did someone say bragging rights?
Fronting the distillery, is an elegant public tasting room created by interior design firm Osmose Design. Osmose principal Andee Hess says, "This new location presented the challenge of synthesizing its diverse product line and telling the story of each unique spirit, while creating a unifying and exciting experience."
Using a simplified material palette of douglas fir, black MDF, and aluminum detailing, Osmose designed three primary elements that enable visitors to experience every aspect of the House Spirits brand.
At the center of it all, large fir baffles were installed with a diminishing repeat around a large window, drawing visitors’ attention to the large stills and production facilities beyond the tasting room. A Corian-topped tasting bar sits in front of the production window, where guests can stand and sample spirits and cocktails, and learn more about the production process.
Dividing the room, an archive case showcases the brand’s adventurous past: limited-edition bottles and experimental spirits are up-lit on fir risers, creating an undulated homage to the craftsmanship and exploratory soul of the House Spirits company. Visitors can scroll through a comprehensive list of the case contents. Laser-etched fir panels on both sides of the case educate visitors on the production and history of the various products, with the right side highlighting the production team and company mission.
Bolon floor tiles create a low-profile, contrasting pattern that lends texture and comfort to the polished concrete floors.
In the south of the room, the primary display shelf provides a home for each of the spirits currently in production—its flagship Aviation American Gin, Krogstad Aquavit, Volstead Vodka, Westward Oregon Straight Malt Whiskey, and limited edition spirits that will only be available at the tasting room. Telling each product’s story, the cubbies also display awards and accolades each spirit has garnered. The side wings of the case contain branded apparel, bar accessories, and cocktail books that promote the House Spirits lifestyle.
Acme Scenic & Display fabricated all interior fixtures for the tasting room. Mackenzie and Laurence Ferar & Associates were the architects for the building’s shell and interior production facility.
Photography by Ken Hayden