Best Local Distillery

Thinking Tree Spirits

Thinking Tree Spirits opened about a year ago last solstice, founder Emily Jensen says. “We’ve been busting our butts, and it’s exciting to hear people are liking what we are doing.”

Thinking Tree is a “farm-to-flask” distillery. “We’re in the Whiteaker,” Jensen says. “And we source 98 percent of every ingredient in our spirits within 45 miles of our front door. We are super-committed to the Eugene community, and are a family owned and operated business proud to live in this lush valley.”

The wheat for the spirits at the base of the Genius Gin and the MainStage Vodka comes from Camas Country Mill, the botanicals for the gin are from Mountain Rose Herbs, grapes for absinthe are sourced from Sylvan Ridge Winery and the blackstrap molasses for the Whiteaker Rum comes from Glory Bee — not locally grown, but locally sourced, Jensen says.

Jensen — together with her husband Bryan Jensen, distiller Kaylon McAlister and a small group of investors — started the company, and it’s primarily female-owned. The tasting room features the work of local artists such as sculptor Jud Turner, and even the labels for the bottles are produced here in town.

Thinking Tree makes about 150 bottles of every batch, and doesn’t source its spirits from other distilleries. Jensen points out that some new distilleries in Oregon will source their neutral grain spirits from Indiana, but Thinking Tree has pledged to keep it local.

If you want to drink it local, you can check out Thinking Tree’s tasting room, or find the vodka, gin and rum at Hot Mama’s, Tacovore, Valley River Inn, Café Soriah and Davis, to name just a few.

“Our entire business is built on the idea of the local economy,” Jensen says.

Thinking Tree’s tasting room is open 4 pm to 10 pm Tuesdays through Sundays, located at 88 North Jackson Street.