Walking into the door of the 4 Spirits Distillery tasting room is a lot like walking into a small museum, and there is a lot of history tied into this little distillery, from the location of the tasting room to its name.
It is hard to know where to start, but we’ll begin with the location. 4 Spirits Distillery is located in Adair Village just north of Corvallis. Adair Village was once Camp Adair, an Army training facility during World War 2. During its peak, roughly 40,000 people lived there, making it the 2nd largest “city” in the state. For a while (in the mid 1940s), it housed a prisoner-of-war camp. Later, in the 1950s it became an Air Force Station. The distillery itself is located in the old generator building, which sole purpose was to supply energy to the large window-less building next door.
The name 4 Spirits is more personal than that. The distillery was founded in 2010 by Dawson Officer, a veteran who served in Baghdad, Iraq as part of the National Guard. He named the distillery in honor of four combat soldiers he served with who were casualties of the war. Additionally, 10% of the sales of the 4 Spirits Bourbon Whiskey is donated to local charities which help veterans and their families.
When we visited, Dawson let us sample each of the products (vodka and Bourbon Whiskey) and also created small cocktails so we could get a feel for how the spirits would work in the context of a drink. This was especially helpful for a cocktail “newby” like myself.
As we were leaving, one of my friends commented that one of the nice things about visiting small distilleries (and wineries too) is that you get to drink something where you know the story. By meet the owners and seeing the distillery you get a broader perspective behind the beverage you are consuming. This was especially true at 4 Spirits.
We visited 4 Spirits Distillery as part of a larger distillery tour. We started first with Vivacity Fine Spirits just a few minutes south of 4 Spirits, then visited Crescendo! in Eugene on our way home. Both 4 Spirits and Vivacity are part of the Mid-Valley Sip Trip and close to many interesting sites. We’ll be back up later to explore the history around Camp Adair in more detail, as well as the McDonald-Dunn Forest which is nearby.
For directions to 4 Spirits Distillery as well as open hours (when we visited they were open every Saturday) please visit their website: http://4spiritsdistillery.com/.