House Spirits Distillery
As founder and master distiller of independently owned and operated House Spirits Distillery, Christian Krogstad is one of the visionaries behind America’s craft distilling resurgence.
Krogstad established House Spirits Distillery in 2004, bringing together his experience as a brewer and winemaker and tapping his passion for outstanding cocktails and food. House Spirits Distillery crafts all of its award-winning products exclusively in-house, in small batches, with an intense and passionate pursuit of perfection using ethically sourced ingredients. Today, the House Spirits portfolio includes Westward American Single Malt Whiskey, Volstead Vodka, Krogstad Aquavit, and Casa Magdalena Rum.
Under Krogstad’s direction, House Spirits Distillery has created a portfolio of spirits that celebrate contemporary cocktail culture, beginning with the creation of and eventual sale of its flagship brand, Aviation American Gin. In 2006, Krogstad collaborated with internationally acclaimed bartender Ryan Magarian to create Aviation American Gin, the pioneer of a new, more balanced expression of gin that is popular with a new generation of gin enthusiasts. Aviation American Gin is the first spirit in American history to result from such a distiller and bartender collaboration.
More recently, Krogstad has focused his efforts on expanding the House Spirits Distillery footprint with the creation of a brand new, $6 million distillery on Distillery Row in Portland, which opened its doors to the public in November, 2015. In its new home, House Spirits Distillery is the largest distilling operation in the Pacific Northwest. The new facility, which increased the company’s distilling capacity sixfold, allows House Spirits Distillery to focus on growing its newer innovations, including Westward American Single Malt Whiskey, an award-winning whiskey inspired by Oregon’s rich brewing culture that is distilled from Pacific Northwest malted barley and aged in new American Oak barrels.
Prior to founding House Spirits Distillery, Krogstad managed the Carlton Winemakers Studio, in Carlton, Ore., the country’s first green-built cooperative winery that is made up of a network of independent small-batch winemakers. He also founded and managed Orchard Street Brewery in Bellingham, Wash., and later served as head brewer at McMenamins, the Pacific Northwest producer of Hammerhead Ale, Ruby, and Terminator Stout.
A native of Seattle, Krogstad attended Siebel Institute of Technology, America’s oldest brewing school, in Chicago, Ill. He eventually settled in Portland, Ore., and he led the development of the city’s famed Distillery Row.