Coquille Tribe launching Oregon’s first Tribal Distillery in Coos County

COOS COUNTY, Ore. – A new distillery is coming to Coos Bay and it’s the first of its kind in the state of Oregon.

Thanks to a landmark agreement between the Coquille Indian Tribe and the OLCC, the production and sale of distillery liquor will be allowed within the Tribe’s sovereign lands in Coos Bay.

“The Coquille Tribe stayed strong and resilient through the invasion of our homelands, through forcible removal, through the Western Oregon Termination Act and everything else thrown at us over the centuries.  Since our Restoration in 1989, we have gone from the brink of annihilation to becoming one of the largest employers on the Oregon coast.  That exercise in sovereignty has led us to this time in our history, and our most recent collaboration is another step in our mission to create and foster prosperity for our people and our communities,” declared Brenda Meade, Coquille Tribal Council Chair.

This project is possible only after an almost 200-year-old law, prohibiting anyone from establishing a distillery on tribal land with the purpose of manufacturing “ardent spirits”, was repealed by Congress back in 2018.

Coos Bay/North Bend’s Mill Casino Hotel and RV Park has partnered with Heritage Distilling Company, Inc. to host the distillery which would produce a variety of spirits. Those products would then be available for purchase at bars, restaurants, and retail outlets.

Heritage Distilling CEO Justin Stiefel said, “most importantly, we want to work with people who want to work with us. If you have people who come to you, and want to work with you, it’s our obligation to see how we can make that work.”

Profits from these sales will go directly to the Tribe to assist with health care, education, and services for its 1,200 members across five Southern Oregon counties.

The casino, which is owned and operated by Coquille Economic Development Corporation, will undergo renovations including the addition of a state-of-the-art tasting room and waterfront dining with breathtaking views of the bay.

“The Tribe has always had a vision for expansion to meet the needs of today’s sophisticated travelers and refined palates,” said Margaret Simpson, CEO of the Coquille Economic Development Corporation.  “Oregon has a deep history in wine and beer, and we are recognizing the growing demand for locally produced, high-quality spirits with this endeavor. After much research and evaluation, we are confident Heritage Distilling has a fitting brand to complement our vision.”

Construction on the Mill Casino Hotel and RV Park is scheduled to begin in the second half of 2024.





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