Say hello to Rainier Mountain Fresh Gin, made by the Puget Sound’s favorite lager brand.
Rainier Brewing Co. officially debuted the spirit Wednesday exclusively in Washington state.
OOLA Distillery, a 10-year-old outfit in Seattle that makes a range of vodkas, gin and bourbon, produces it through a contract with Rainier’s parent Pabst Brewing Co.
Bottled at a standard 40 percent alcohol by volume, this gin is distilled from grain with 14 botanicals, including huckleberry and spruce in a nod to Mount Rainier (or Tahoma, for those paying attention).
It’s the first non-beer from Rainier since Prohibition, when the brand tinkered with the Lime Rickey, a lime soda mixer, according to a release. The cans and kegs of the flagship golden lager have been brewed in California for most of the past two decades. In 2016, Pabst struck a deal with Woodinville’s Redhook Brewing to bring the brand back to Washington and last year debuted a light lager called Summit.
With the proliferation of craft distilling — pre-coronavirus anyway — and classic cocktails, gin has blossomed into one of the world’s most popular spirits. A wave of brands have developed a fresh style of gin, similar to the London Dry but often with a local touch, sometimes referred to as New Wave or New Western. This one would fit into that bucket.
You can find the new Rainier gin (SRP $29.99) at select stores in the region, including Total Wine & More in Puyallup and Federal Way, the Muckleshoot Smoke Shop in Auburn, Duanne’s Liquor Market in Lakewood, and Harbor Greens in University Place. Find a complete list of retailers and bars to sip on this “true Northwest-style spirit” at the Rainier Beer website.
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