Westward Whiskey Distillery Stills

It may come as no surprise that distillery building code regulations can be complex and difficult to parse. Having navigated such requirements for years, Technical Director Reed Lewis shares his knowledge in a detailed article for Distiller magazine.

In “A Tale of Two Distilleries,” Lewis explores the two different paths that House Spirits and Branch Point took toward building code-compliant distilleries:

Founded in 2004, House Spirits Distillery was, by early 2013, bursting at its seams. Sales of Aviation Gin had taken off and production of Westward Whiskey had expanded to the point where a much larger facility was needed. The company Co-founder Christian Krogstad wished to remain in the Portland industrial district where its existing distillery was located. A former three-sided storage shed was selected, and the process of transforming it into a functional distillery building began.

At about the same time, Portland neurologist Steven Day was making plans to begin a second career making whiskey, grain to glass. The decision to start a distillery was born out of his love for whiskey and his desire to use his background in organic and bio chemistry to a creative end. He purchased land in the Willamette Valley wine region, outside of Portland, where thriving wine tourism would likely drive traffic to his door. A new building would be constructed to include two pot stills, a brew house and tasting room, while an existing barn was designated for barrel storage. Day intended Branch Point to be, as much as possible, a one-man operation.