In the wake of the tragedy that was Hurricane Katrina, devastating large parts of New Orleans, the odd became almost commonplace. Watching houses and cars caught up in the flood was horrifying, but in a city famed for food and drink, the sight of barrels floating down Frenchman Street, in the city's Ninth Ward, brought a catch to the throat of many a long-time "y'at."
Moving to the Willamette Valley in Oregon, I fully expected to be surrounded by heavenly coffee, fantastic food, killer microbrews, and world-class Pinot noir. Lots of Pinot noir. What I did not expect was to discover a thriving scene of locally produced spirits and liqueurs. A recent trip to Portland’s Distillery Row with some friends opened my eyes to a whole new world of hard drinking.
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