Summer Spirits in Joseph

July 1, 2013 (Updated July 30, 2014)

Sometimes a place is so beautiful, you can almost taste it. Joseph is like that. Out there, your views are full of the snow-capped Wallowa Mountains, endless blue skies and a sea of golden grain. To sip on that Western flavor, stop in at the Stein Distillery tasting room, which features the micro-distillery’s rye vodka, rum, huckleberry, blackberry, raspberry and rhubarb cordials as well as rye, bourbon and blended whiskeys.

Co-owner Heather Stein says what sets her spirits apart from other distilleries is homegrown grain from the family farm, where the Steins have been farming for three generations. “We have a 150-acre farm, 50 acres of which is used to harvest grain for the distillery. We do every step by hand. Grain growth, harvest, grinding, mash-making, fermenting, distilling, casking, bottling and labeling is all done by the family.”

The Steins released their first spirited offering — vodka — in November of 2009 and opened the tasting room the following spring. “We had the right material and the right skills and talents in the family to start a distillery. Our research indicated micro-distilling was going the way of micro-brewing, and we decided to go for it.”

Located on Main Street in Joseph, the tasting room is open Monday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Their products are available at all Oregon liquor retail stores and in Washington, Idaho, Wyoming, California and Georgia.

For summer sipping, Heather Stein offers the following Stein-inspired cocktails:

Stein Whiskey Spritzer
3 oz. Stein Rye Whiskey
8 oz. ginger ale (or soda water)
1 tsp. lime juice

Stein Rhubarb Spumante
2 oz. Stein Rhubarb Cordial
8 oz. Sparkling Wine

About The

Eileen Garvin
Eileen Garvin lives and writes in Hood River. When she’s not hunched over her keyboard or digging in the garden, you can find her mountain biking, kiteboarding, hiking, skiing or camping somewhere in Oregon.