The first legal, tribal-owned distillery opened its doors in June 2020, defying a 186-year-old law and welcoming Northwestern’s to taste whiskey and beer. Talking Cedar Distillery and Brewery is located right off I-5 in Grand Mound, Washington. In 2018, right before Talking Cedar broke ground on its 35,000 square-foot space, the Chehalis Tribal Enterprise had to bust apart a statute from 1834 that would not allow distilleries on tribal land. Nine months later a bill was passed in Congress and now all Washingtonians (and travelers) can reap the benefits of the enterprise’s hard work.
Talking Cedar partnered with Heritage Distilling Company and now boasts one of the largest stills west of the Mississippi, pumping out 10,000 barrels of whiskey and 1.5 million gallons of other spirits. On the brewery side, they brought in brewer Bill Lundeen (Harmon Brewing & Bridgeport Brewing) to produce crisp Kolschs and hoppy IPAs along with some creative takes on stouts and other brews. Talking Cedar also offers a full pub-like menu and a shop where you can take home bottles of BSB (brown sugar bourbon) or cans of your favorite beer.
I photographed the stunning space for Imbibe magazine. You can read more about Talking Cedar’s story in the March/April 2021 issue, on stands now. Next time you Portlanders are headed up to Seattle, be sure to put Talking Cedar on your to-do list for some fun grub and intriguing beverages.