Craft whiskey has three main ingredients… Grain, water and passion. Brad Irwin found all three in his hometown of Bend, Oregon. In 2009, Brad & his wife Kathy began the journey that would eventually turn into Central Oregon’s first grain to bottle whiskey distillery, Oregon Spirit Distillers. Grain & water were easy to source; Central Oregon’s unique climate provided plenty of corn, barley, wheat, rye & spring water from the Cascade Mountains. Brad’s passion for history, tradition & the simplicity of a well made spirit is what sets Oregon Spirit Distillers apart from the rest. After 10 years of playing the role of head distiller, Brad has passed the role to his carefully selected distilling team. As owner and CEO, he is able to focus on growing Oregon Spirit Distillers as a national brand as well as making time for his other passion; his family.
Brandy graduated from the University of Tennessee with a BS in Biology. After finishing school, she moved to Bend and joined the Oregon Spirit Distillers team within one week of moving to town. In the past, she has worked as a potter making handcrafted dinnerware and as a food microbiologist, a job she describes as weird and gross! In the winter, she snowboards and is trying to learn to ski. She also loves to thrift and collects two dollar bills! When working in the distillery, she is usually listening to Paul Simon or Gillian Welch. When she makes the time, she is a skilled potter on the wheel.
Oregon Spirit Distillers drink of choice: Oregon Spirit Distillers Rye! Enjoying it best neat, maybe with a splash of cool water.
Michael is a transplant from Ohio, where he earned a BS in Chemical Engineering before embarking on a career dedicated to Health, Safety and Environmental Engineering. He joined the Oregon Spirit Distillers team; laughingly declaring that he is now fulfilling his passion for fermentation. Leaving behind an epic journey in the environmental field - investigating and cleaning up toxic, hazardous and radioactive waste sites - he finally is able to relax and (remarkably) measure the product of his work … by Taste!
When he’s not making spirits, Michael loves to travel – exploring the desert landscapes, waterfalls, mountain trails and ocean vistas that have been preserved here in Oregon.
Oregon Spirit Distillers drink of choice: Corpse Reviver #2.