It’s a very rare thing to sip on American whiskey whose glass is filled with such a rich history as its Irish or Scotish counterparts. And definitely not something one would expect outside of the East Coast or Tennessee. However, such a gem does exist right in Oregon. In fact, nestled between the vines and hazelnut orchards Willamette Valley’s wine country is Ewing Young Distillery and Ewing Young Farm, the final resting place of a great American pioneer.
Ewing Young Distillery is the newest distillery to join the Beaverton Farmers’ Market growing roster of vendors in their Local Liquid. Bev Root — owner, general manager, and distiller — is in the market most Saturdays sampling the growing roster of their award winning spirits (including an American single malt whiskey), or during the Summer Market, shaking up cocktails to pair alongside the market’s hot food items — a Bloody Mary made with the distillery’s potato vodka is a popular pick.
Root left her former career as a corporate attorney in 2016 to attend distillery school and open Ewing Young Distillery, along with her husband, Doug Root. Relatives Jack and Cookie Root purchased property in Newberg that now houses the distillery, Ewing Young Farm — a thoroughbred farm that homes two triple crown winners — as well as renowned Oakhurst Equine Veterinary.
Doug Root began researching the story of Ewing Young, a great American fur trapper and trader, after discovering the majestic Ewing Young Heritage Oak, which was planted on the property in celebration of Young’s friends establishing the Provisional Government of Oregon of 1843 after his death in 1841. Doug’s enthusiasm for history and the Young story is infectious. He quickly discovered many uncanny parallels of the Root family and the saga of Young. So many it was impossible to ignore, “we call it Metaphysics in a Bottle™,” says Root.
Bev Root is joined in the distillery by nephew and distiller, Tucker Mortensen, a classically trained French chef. “He really has an amazing palate and keen sense for flavor stemming from his work as a chef,” says Root.
In an homage to Ewing Young the Roots have selected from some of the best distillers along his trails and assembled these blends that are uniquely their own. Ewing Young Distillery spirits include a potato vodka, rye whiskey, bourbon, and a single malt whiskey, with plans to release a house distilled gin. Ewing Young Distillery can be found at Beaverton Farmers Market on most Saturdays, local liquor stores, or at their distillery in Newberg, OR where visitors can experience the farm, receive a fascinating history lesson on Ewing Young from Jack Root himself, and of course, indulge in award winning spirits.