Updated October 28, 2013
This time of year is Clear Creek’s peak production season. We are busily making our signature spirit, Pear Brandy, while the pears are still at their best, as well as squeezing in small batches of grappa when the winemakers tell us they have pomace for us. We also look forward to our big annual Thanksgiving weekend open house.
Thanksgiving Weekend Open House
Clear Creek Distillery is a true artisan distillery which means we focus most of our energy on producing world class spirits, from scratch, from Oregon fruit. We aren’t about branding, marketing, or social media (although we finally broke down and got a Facebook page this year). We hope that our products speak for themselves and that word of mouth among fine spirits enthusiasts will continue to grow. We do have a tasting room, which we think is a great way to make friends and show off what we make, but we don’t even have time to dedicate to offering tours of the distillery. We are too busy making stuff. That said, we do think that our distillery is worthy of showing off and realize that people are interested in seeing what we do here. So we do host two annual open house events during which we open the production facility to visitors. One of these is quickly approaching.
Thanksgiving Weekend Open House at Clear Creek Distillery
When: Friday, November 29, 2013 and Saturday, November 30, 2013.
Where: Clear Creek Distillery, 2389 NW Wilson St, Portland, Oregon. Directions.
What: Clear Creek staff will host visitors in the production area of the distillery, giving short tours and answering questions about what we make and how we do it. See the equipment, including fermentation tanks, stills, barrel room, and bottling line. And sample up to five Clear Creek items of your choice.
It is pear season in Oregon and Clear Creek Distillery is in its 29th year of Pear Brandy production. So far this year, we have received 2 truckloads (47,000 pounds each) of Bartlett pears grown in Oregon’s Hood River Valley, and expect a third delivery this week. We will get more pears approximately once a week for the next couple of months. Each time we get pears, we make sure they ripen to their peak of ripeness, but not beyond, and then we crush the pears, ferment the pear mash, and distill. The result is “the most extraordinary eaux de vie in America, indeed in the world.” (Karen MacNeil’s The Wine Bible).
Grappa season inconveniently coincides with pear brandy season, so we have been squeezing in small batches of grappa distillation in between pear distillations. We recently got juicy, fragrant pomace from Northwest wineries such as Eyrie Vineyards, Boedecker Cellars, and Cana’s Feast , who call us as they are pressing grapes so that we can come take away their pomace (pressed grapes) which we use to make grappa. We are almost done for the year, and just await a delivery of some more Nebbiolo and Sangiovese from Cavatappi Winery.
Products out of Stock
Temporarily Out of Stock at the Distillery … Still Available in Some Stores
McCarthy’s Oregon Single Malt Whiskey is sold out here at the distillery. We bottled our second batch of McCarthy’s of 2013 in September. This batch (W13-02) has been shipped and is still arriving in retail stores around the country. You should be able to find it at retailers near you. The next bottling of McCarthy’s (batch W14-01) is schedule for Spring 2014.
If you’d like to be notified when the next bottling is approaching, please contact us with your name, location, and either an email or phone number, depending on how you’d like us to contact you.
Framboise is one spirit that we make infrequently and in small quantities. Because we use the authentic method of making eau de vie, meaning we ferment raspberries and distill the fermented fruit (as opposed to flavoring a spirit with raspberries), it is difficult and expensive to make. We need especially good raspberry crops. Those are the years we make it. Our 2013 batch of 33 cases has already sold out. You may be able to find a bottle at a few retailers around the country, but we have none left here at the distillery. And we aren’t sure when we will make it next.