Aviation American Gin opens new tasting room, distillery in Portland

PORTLAND, Ore. — Portland-based gin, Aviation American Gin, opened a new distillery and tasting room in Northwest Portland this week.

The gin brand is owned in part and marketed heavily by Hollywood actor Ryan Reynolds. He wasn’t at the grand opening but his presence can be found at the distillery in various visual representations.

In 2006, a couple of Portlanders founded the popular liquor brand. It’s grown and changed ownership a few times since.

Now after three years of development, it’s making a big statement with a distillery and packaging facility; it’s also a place to visit.

“We have our tasting room up front where people can come have cocktails, take a tour and end up here in this escape room that’s also ‘Ryan’s office’ and it’s just a fun really cheeky experience that really fits the brand,” said Hollie Stephenson, the distillery director.

Reynolds posted a video on his Instagram account promoting the new distillery, calling it, “Like Disneyland for adults.”

Aviation’s new distillery adds to a growing industry in Oregon that got started in a big way in Hood River back in 1934. Hood River Distillers is the oldest and largest in the state, making premium and value brands of liquor.

Manager Jordan Sanchez is glad to have as many as 20 other distillers now operating in Oregon.

“National brands, that’s where competition comes in a little bit more, but we never try to cannibalize the local distilleries here in Oregon; as a tight knit group and a team really, because a rising tide raises all ships, so we’re looking out for each other,” said Sanchez.

Back in northwest Portland, it’s a celebration of gin, Aviation style. The people behind this distillery said they plan to fit right in.

“There are so many great brands here, makers here; and just to get to be a part of that and let Aviation continue to live its life here is just an awesome opportunity,” said Stephenson.

Click here for information about visiting the distillery.

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