(Photo above: Nick and Katie Beasley | Photo by Cascade Business News)
Sisters Family-Run Cascade Street Distillery Raising Regional Profile
A Sisters family-run enterprise is making a distinctive mark as an emerging Western small batch distillery, carving a niche amid the state’s burgeoning craft spirits scene through a sustainable philosophy emphasizing regional ingredients and “putting Central Oregon in a bottle”.
Cascade Street Distillery — run by native Oregonian brother and sister team Nick and Katie Beasley — puts a local botanical twist on the liquor palate, centered around the key component of the area’s “pristine mountain water,” and the Beasley’s aim to become an increasingly established staple for the Sisters community.
A downtown destination tasting room on Cascade Avenue complements a classic 1930’s style recently lovingly-restored facility, previously known as the Barclay Barn, off Camp Polk Road, where concoctions are created by business major Nick and which also serves as a charming event destination including as an increasingly popular wedding venue.
Since its inception in 2015, Cascade Street Distillery has garnered rising recognition including recently being featured nationally in USA Today’s 50 States: 50 Bourbon Destinations for its Broken Top Bourbon Whiskey.
The bourbon whiskey is aged for at least two years in charred new American Oak barrels and forms part of a signature line which includes North Sister Vodka and South Sister Gin, as well as newer potato and chipotle vodka entrants and a Wild Roots Spirits brand partnership featuring fruit infused vodkas.
Nick Beasley, who along with his sibling is an Oregon State University graduate, said, “Craft spirits are getting more and more attention, and, for example, over the past decade, bourbon, which is often described as America’s native spirit, has exploded in popularity as an $8.5 billion industry.
“We wanted to put our stamp on that genre with a bold sipping ‘mountain style’ bourbon born of a unique blend of 100 percent American corn, rye and barley and of course mixed with our pristine mountain spring water, which makes a fundamental difference.
“The majority of almost every bottle of liquor is water. That’s why it’s so important to have good water when you wish to produce the highest quality spirits.
“In Sisters we don’t have good water, we have great water. One look at the snow-covered peaks and you’ll see that our water comes from the purest source; rain and snow melt.
“That water is then filtered for years through thousands of feet of volcanic rock and purifying silica. The result is an exceptionally pristine water containing no detectable iron or lead. This is perfect for creating liquor devoid of unintended aftertastes — it really is the distiller’s dream.
“We also never lose sight of the fact that without great ingredients you can’t make great liquor. Each ingredient that goes into our spirits is carefully researched and sourced and our use of local botanicals is part of our aim of effectively putting the essence of Central Oregon in a bottle.”
Beasley said the corn that goes into the distillery’s North Sister Vodka is 100 percent American corn grain, is non-GMO, kosher, and gluten free. It is distilled six times and then filtered 100 times to achieve a clear 192 proof base, then blended with the mountain spring water to finish with 80 Proof 40 percent ABV.
Fellow spirit South Sister Gin is infused with local juniper berries, desert sage and ponderosa pine pods that are hand-sourced. From the first sip to the clean and fresh botanical finish, it offers the palate an opportunity to explore all that the area has to offer.
The company’s website observes, “Sage gives a garden-fresh bouquet with a hint of citrus; the pine pod’s sugary sap water creates a unique and intense pine flavor with a sweet citrusy aftertaste. The slight golden hue is the result of these all-natural ingredients sourced from Central Oregon’s High Desert.
Nick added, “I firmly believe that in the next ten to 20 years Oregon spirits will take an increasingly higher profile on the national stage, and we see Cascade Street Distillery as part of a new generation of Western craft distillers fueled by a love of landscape, adventure and innovation inspired by the region’s resources.
“Wine enthusiasts call it terroir; Western craft distillers call it pristine mountain water and local botanicals. We would like to think each sip is evocative of, and brings you closer to, that campfire under a blanket of stars.
“We are lucky enough as a family to be able to work together to realize the dream of making exceptionally good liquor that brings the mountains to enthusiasts — all year long.”
Katie, who followed in her brother’s footsteps in attending OSU and graduated with a liberal arts degree in media communications with a media management and broadcast specialty, added, “We are excited to be back here and laying down deeper roots in the special environment of Sisters, where we live and want to be an integral part of this wonderful community, which really is very supportive.
“As part of that context, we like to think our tasting room is the perfect reflection of us — completely laid-back and comfortable while keeping a keen eye on what’s important.
“We have a vision to provide smooth tasting spirits made from the best ingredients on earth and this is a perfect place to sample our products.
“We want to offer unforgettable experiences and bolstering that goal our barn base embraces Sisters’ picturesque environment with its serene landscapes and backdrop of the Cascade Mountains, which appear as a ‘street’ of peaks and inspired our company’s name.
“The old farm barn facility was restored plank-by-plank with reclaimed wood, and in harnessing the beauty of Sisters our craft distilling space doubles as a charming venue for creative groups, memory seekers and those in search of the perfect idyllic wedding backdrop.”
Cascade Street Distillery, 261 W Cascade Ave., Sisters
cascadestreetdistillery.com • 541-549-1082