Today, after three years of construction, Aviation American Gin opened their new distillery and visitor center in Portland Oregon.
Touted as the progeny produced by “an adult theme park and a bartender” who falls in love by Ryan Reynolds, co-owner of Aviation American Gin, the gin distillery emphasizes unique interactions.
“At the new Aviation American Gin Distillery, guests don’t just take the tour, they get the full experience of making gin,” Reynolds shared in a promotional video on Instagram before playfully firing a series of visitors. He continues, “other distillery tours keep their visitors behind glass, but at Aviation we know that people really learn by doing.”
Reynolds captioned the video, “Like Disneyland for adults,” promoting the idea that this isn’t your typical distillery, as the team had envisioned it. The 33,000-square-foot layout is designed to be interactive, with the anticipated tasting room and cocktail bar serving seasonal cocktails, as well as a behind-the-scenes look at Reynolds’ office that doubles as an escape room, encouraging visitors to to solve a series of puzzles to break free.
This is of course also the new headquarters for distillation and bottling operations led by distillery director Hollie Stephenson. “Portland, Oregon is such a vibrant city with a rich, unrivaled spirit and cocktail scene. We are proud to open the Aviation American Gin Distillery in the company’s hometown,” said Christina Choi, Senior Vice President at Diageo, which purchased Aviation Gin in 2020 for $610 million. Aviation Gin was founded in 2006 and has been produced by Portland-based House Spirits Distillery since its inception, despite its sale to Davos Brands in 2016.
While the interactive elements during distillery tours are for fun, the purpose is also educational, with Reynolds sharing allowing hands-on guests to experience what goes into producing “the best gin in the world”. From the first infusion of signature botanicals – including cardamom, coriander, French lavender, aniseed, sarsaparilla, juniper berry and two varieties of orange peel, suspended in pure, neutral grain alcohol in maceration tanks for 18 hours – to cutting, blending, bottling and tasting of Aviation American Gin, Aviation Old Tom Gin and three mini cocktails.
Reynolds became a co-owner of Aviation Gin in 2018 and is famously quoted on the brand’s website as having tried every gin in the world, only to discover Aviation as “the best”.
The Aviation American Gin Distillery is located at 2075 NW Wilson St. Portland, OR 97209, and is open Thursday through Sunday, noon. until 7pm for tours of no more than 12 visitors at a time.