When husband-and-wife team Jason Greenwood and Jennell Ives launched Divine Distillers in 2018, the duo did so with a dream and a 26-gallon still. The distillery—Salem’s first—was a hit from day one, and just two years later, Greenwood anticipates increasing capacity to where Divine can distill upwards of 1,000 gallons per day by the summer of 2020. “We can’t make enough product for the demand,” Greenwood admits.
In a way, it’s a good problem to have: Customers clearly love the Divine lineup, which includes an agave spirit, brandy, eau-de-vie, and rum.
Greenwood chalks some of that popularity up to Divine’s passion for reflecting the region that berthed the distillery: “It was very important for us to be true to who we are and where we are—and source as much as possible locally,” he says. “It’s nice to be able to connect to the local farmers and the local community.”
Since opening, Divine has distilled, among other fruits, peaches, plums, apples, blackberries, and cherries grown in the Willamette Valley.
And, when fruits are in-season, Divine makes that connection real with eau-de-vie pairings that invite visitors to sip their way through the entire farm-to-bottle production cycle. As Greenwood explains it, visitors can try a locally grown strawberry, sip a wine made with local strawberries, and then try the brandy made from that wine. He calls it a “vertical flight” of the fruit and has offered similar pairings with peaches and pears. “We hope people get an appreciation for how the fruit goes through the entire process, and how we try to stay true to that particular fruit,” Greenwood says.
Note: The Divine Distillers tasting room is currently closed and relocating to South Salem. Greenwood hopes to open in the new location by spring 2020; keep an eye on the Divine Distillers website for news and updates.