If an artisan distiller is one who loves the process as much as the product, then Rick Stillwagon hits the mark. Stillwagon Distillery is making micro-distillery distinction on the Oregon Coast.
Stillwagon’s rum varieties stand on their own, thanks to careful control of the process and ingredients. He samples every batch for quality and decides when the proof is perfect.
The goal is to avoid duplicating what’s already on the market, says Stillwagon. The newest product in the tasting room is vodka made from sugar cane. The result is a spirit with the unique profile and pleasing finish that’s the Stillwagon hallmark.
Stillwagon Distillery opened in 2013 with production in Charleston, and now operates tasting rooms in Charleston and Old Town Bandon. The idea for a distillery started with a koi pond, Stillwagon explains. He purchased a pellet stove to heat the pond and spent years experimenting with aquaponics, heating and distillation. Next came research into distilled beverages.
Of course, operating a distillery isn’t all work and no play. The new Bandon tasting room evokes a nautical ambiance and nostalgia for days of pirates and rum-running.
Visit Stillwagon Distillery
Charleston Tasting Room, 63357 Boat Basin Drive, Charleston
Bandon Tasting Room, 140 2nd Street SE, Bandon
By Geneva Miller. Photo by Cardas Photography.