The Spirit of Sustainability and Adventure: Crater Lake Spirits
Crater Lake Spirits: Background, Inspiration, and Products
Crater Lake Spirits has been around since 1996, making it over 25 years old and older than most. In the late 1900s, craft wineries and breweries were taking off and flourishing, and according to Crater Lake Spirits CEO Alan Dietrich, founder Jim Bendis made his final decision to start Crater Lake Spirits after “running through the woods and seeing all of the juniper," and realizing that "nobody was making a craft gin out of it.”
Originating in Bend, Oregon, a place the craft beverage company has remained very loyal to, Crater Lake Spirits utilized all those juniper berries to launch its first locally sourced craft gin in 1996. Prohibition Gin is a traditional, high proof, locally sourced gin, described as giving "a nod to the pre-prohibition roots of American gin."
Crater Lake Spirits Prohibition Gin can be found online here for only $33.99, with free shipping on all orders over $99.
At about the same time, Crater Lake Spirits released a vodka, which they soon added natural flavors to, eventually creating the successful Hazelnut Espresso Vodka bottle. With an ABV of 25%, the Hazelnut Espresso Vodka can be sipped neat or added to cocktails, coffees, and deserts. Sophisticated and not overly sweet, the Oregon grown hazelnuts along with the taste of freshly brewed coffee create a vodka referred to as a "quintessential bar staple with a modern twist."
Crater Lake Spirits Hazelnut Espresso Vodka can be found online here for only $30.99, with free shipping on all orders over $99.
Following their spirit of adventure, the founders of Crater Lake Spirits, Jim Bendis and Alan Deitrich, decided to create the perfect premixed cocktail to bring along on adventurous travels. The name Rock and Rye couldn't be more perfect for a Crater Lake Spirits classic rye whiskey cocktail, and the "carefree" flavors of dark cherry, blood orange, and bitters do not disappoint.
Crater Lake Rock and Rye Whiskey Cocktail can be found online here for only $33.99, with free shipping on all orders over $99.
Oregon Inspired, Oregon Created, and Oregon Sustaining
Sustainability and minimizing their environmental impact is a main tenant of Crater Lake Spirits' philosophy and mission, along with supporting the community it is a part of. The Crater Lake Spirits team is aware that their "intense commitment to quality, taste, and sustainable practices" may mean that they aren't every person's first choice when buying gin, vodka, or whiskey, and their response is a quick, "that's ok."
Crater Lake Spirits is for those who share their wonder for nature, and are committed to enforcing sustainability measures that match their ideals. In their words,
"We’re here for the spirit enthusiasts who care about what they’re drinking, how it’s made, and its impact on the planet. By purchasing Crater Lake Spirits, it shows that you share our goal of doing right by our employees, our community, and our shared future."
In addition to using locally sourced ingredients from the surrounding Oregon ecosystem, Crater Lake Spirits incorporates multiple environmental measures, focusing especially on the materials the company uses, the facilities it utilizes for its spirits, and the community Crater Lake Spirits is a part of.
Environmentally Sustainable Materials
Crater Lake Spirits has shifted the way they create their bottle labels, making most of their bottles completely recyclable, along with their glass and plastic bottles being made of 25-30% of recycled materials. When Crater Lake products are shipped out, the box is filled with dissolving starch packing peanuts, and the rest of the packaging material is recyclable as well.
Even the Crater Lake Spirits swag is environmentally friendly; the t shirts with their logo is made by AllMade, which uses 6 plastic bottles worth of recycled plastic to create each shirt. Merch sold in tasting rooms is locally sourced and supports small local businesses, enhancing the local economy and minimizing the Crater Lake Spirit carbon footprint. Tastings room feature paper straws, recycled glass, cardboard, and paper, along with digital menus.
Crater Lake Spirits Facilities
In addition to monitoring and ensuring that the materials used in production, tasting rooms, and any other spirit related endeavors remain environmentally friendly, Crater Lake Spirits works to "conserve natural resources, reduce waste, and make sustainability a practice, not just a promise."
Any wastewater containing chemicals that may be environmentally harmful is collected in an allocated tank until it can be disposed of appropriately, as Crater Lake Spirits values clean groundwater as a global resource. They also use a glycol chiller closed-loop system for cooling water in the still room, which saves hundreds of gallons of water a day through the closed loop technique.
Energy conservation is another sustainability goal for Crater Lake Spirits, and they use LED lighting, skylights in multiple buildings to reduce the need for electricity, and are in the process of switching to battery-powered forklifts, which allows for solar and wind power to be used in the place of fossil fuels.
Crater Lake Spirits utilizes multiple ingredients when making their spirits, and disposal of ingredients consists of onsite composting. The Crater Lake Spirits company has a vegetable garden fertilized by the composted materials as well as a farm, and employees enjoy vegetables and chicken eggs. Garbage bags used for farming or general waste are made from 70% or more recycled industrial material, and the grain left over after whiskey creation is reused as feed for animals on a ranch in the area.