Coming up in 18 days, on Saturday March 7, 2015, is TOAST 2015 – TOAST standing for The Original Artisan Spirits Tasting. The event will be held 4 – 10 PM at the Left Bank Annex. This lets you still enjoy most of the day Saturday doing what you need to, and then spend a leisurely 6 hours being able to wander and learn and taste from among the over 40 distillers and producers and over 120 spirits ranging from locally here in Oregon to across the Northwest, the United States, and oh just the world!
Tickets are $45 for General Admission and includes entry into the event, a commemorative tasting glass, unlimited bites from popular local chefs, unlimited spirit samples from 40+ distilleries, an Oregon Distillery Trail Scout book, plus the opportunity to purchase cocktails from the cocktail bar and purchase exclusive products from the distilleries.
You can upgrade yourself to a VIP ticket priced at $60 that additionally provides 2 cocktails from the cocktail bar, access to the VIP area, and access to the after party with the distillers. Designated Driver tickets, which gives you entry, free non-alcoholic beverages, and food are $15.
Or you can win a ticket to yourself from my giveaway below!
About the Oregon Distillery Guild
The Oregon Distillery Guild was founded in 2007 to promote and celebrate Oregon spirits. Oregon Distillers Guild President Ted Pappas explains that “As the country’s first distillery guild, it was something we looked to our brothers and sisters in the beer industry for. They had their guild and it made sense for distillers to have one as well. We have always worked together and the spirit of cooperation continues.”
The distillery trail has a lot of diversity, ranging from vodka, whiskey, rum, gin, tequila, brandy, liqueurs like limoncello, coffee or butterscotch or chocolate liqueurs, gluten free bai jiu, spirits like absinthe or aquavit… We are very rich in artisan spirits here.
Ted Pappas further noted that “I’m about growth of the industry in our state as it creates jobs not only to the distillery but all of the vendors needed to support them. Growth in the industry is everywhere. It is very strong in the NW as both Oregon and Washington are in the top five total distilleries in the country.”
As mentioned, with your admission you will get the Oregon Distillery Trail Scout book (aka ODT Scout Book). This is a small pocket notebook that provides a map with details of the location and contact information of each distillery on the trail, including the spirits produced and tours and tasting information.
As Ted Pappas explained, “The idea behind the ODT was for the end consumer to fully grasp who we are, and that there is a vast amount of spirits right in their own backyard.”
I’ll say… In Oregon alone, there are 400 spirits being produced by more than 30 distilleries, and the number continues to grow.
If you are in Ashland, Bend, Brookings, Corvallis, Dundee, Eugene, Hood River, Hillsboro, Medford, Newport, Portland, Roseburg, Sheridan, Troutdale or Warren you can check out the book to see if there’s a fun tasting adventure nearby with tarragon or saffron vodka or limoncello…
Or, save yourself the roadtrip and do all your tastings all under one roof of the Leftbank Annex building in Portland, Oregon with TOAST 2015. This is right by the Moda Center so easy to park as well as convenient to lots of public transit options like MAX and Streetcar. Event organizers have also coordinated with Broadway Taxi to ensure attendees have other transportation available (Broadway Cab will be there to provide free rides home between 8:30pm and 10:30pm, which is included with the ticket).
This is the 5th time the event is being held, and this year boasts more than 40 distillers on hand pouring samples of 100’s of distilled spirits from Oregon and beyond. Click here to view a list of all the TOAST 2015 distillery participants
Local chefs will provide food prepared to pair with spirits and participants include
- Elias Cairo of Olympic Provisions
- Johanna Ware of Smallwares
- Scott Dolich of The Bent Brick
- Matthew Fields of Stella Taco
- Kevin Schantz of (soon-to-open) RingSide Grill
There are so many times when I am browsing the liquor shelves and am intrigued by descriptions of different kinds of coffee liqueur for a more tasty Espresso Martini, or see a lemongrass lime vodka or lime flavored rum, or fresh peppers or ginger infused vodka, or marionberry whiskey or cherry whiskey…
Or coffee rum or ginger rum, how about apple pie liqueur, or Sweet Tea, Spice Tea and Smoke Tea spirits, or Chai Tea vodka…
OK OK I may lean a lot towards vodka in my own cocktail making. That’s why I am excited to attend TOAST 2015 this year and learn more about these other spirits and learn to appreciate them and distinguish their flavors on their own pre-cocktail.
All these flavors by the way that I mentioned above are all products that are produced by participants at TOAST.
It’s continuing education… because we should all keep learning and expanding our view right? Including with spirits?
I mentioned the admission came with unlimited samples of the drinks and food right?
I asked Ted Pappas what his tips might be to experience TOAST, and he said “I see TOAST in two waves. For those who just want to have a quiet sampling experience interacting with the participants, the first part of TOAST is for you.
Once 6pm or so rolls around, the activities start with “Ted Talks” (interviews I’ll be doing with participants) on the half hour, introduction of the Oregon Starka Project, and who knows, maybe a few more fun things. Plus, VIP passes get you access to the after hour party with the distilleries, so making an evening out of it is very much an option. ”
And, you can win a General Admission Ticket to TOAST 2015 – I’m happy in conjunction with Little Green Pickle to help hook you up! Just use the Rafflecopter widget below to enter. You must be an adult 21+ and have valid ID to use the general admission ticket. Good luck!
To increase your chances of winning, hop on over to my friend’s blog Urban Bliss Life or to Salt. Water. Coffee. or to The Good Hearted Woman or at The Spicy Bee where those lovely ladies are giving a ticket away also!
If you attended TOAST this year, how would you explore spirits? Would you try to taste a variety, or try to taste all of the versions of your favorite kind of spirit, or try new spirits?
Disclosure: I am being provided a ticket to the event for myself and a ticket to give away to you, my reader, in exchange for promoting TOAST and social media coverage. The views and opinions expressed in this blog are entirely my own. Special thanks to Little Green Pickle for the tickets, and to Oregon Distillers Guild President Ted Pappas for answering some of my questions! Images in this post are courtesy the Oregon Distillers Guild. Follow me and the hashtag #Toast2015 to see more of the TOAST adventures to come!