Love Rainier beer? Try Mountain Fresh Gin in Washington starting today

Love Rainier beer? Try Mountain Fresh Gin in Washington starting today

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.

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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.

For now, it will only be available in Washington, with Oregon to follow.