The New Deal Story

New Deal Distillery has been making high quality, craft-distilled spirits, inspired by the DIY spirit of Portland, Oregon since 2004. All of our artisan spirits are made locally in small batches with Bull Run water and natural and organic ingredients, sourced locally whenever possible.


Pioneers in craft distilling since 2004

When New Deal Distillery started in 2004, founder Tom Burkleaux and then co-founder, Matthew VanWinkle had a simple business plan: sell one bottle to one stranger off of a liquor store shelf. Tom Burkleaux calls this period “the wilderness”, the time when they began to learn their craft in the smallest licensed distillery in America. The basic formula they used then still holds true today: make it simple, make it right.


This independence gives us the freedom to continually explore experimental methods, ingredients, and spirit styles. We love having the ability to change and react to what feels innovative, seasonal, and interesting to us. We strive to combine elements of tradition and experimentation in both our widely available line of small-batch, craft spirits and in our Distiller’s Workshop Series, a line dedicated to limited releases that are only available at the distillery. 

New Deal History

The early days in the distilling wilderness

When New Deal began production, there were only a handful of craft distilleries in America. New Deal was the first distillery in what is now Portland’s Distillery Row, and the second modern distillery in Portland, after Clear Creek Distillery. Over the years, as other distilleries began to operate in Portland’s Southeast Industrial District, we carried forward the tradition of cooperation from craft breweries: Portland’s distilleries helped one another flourish and the concept of Portland’s Distillery Row began to take shape.

Creating Good

Our city is full of activists, creators, and ordinary citizens who do extraordinary things every day and make our community a place we feel especially proud to be a part of. New Deal could not have made it this far without the support of all the amazing artisans and organizations that have kept Portland the thriving creative wonderland that it still is today.

Giving back

We consider it an honor to give back our support to these individuals and organizations whenever we can. To that end, we sponsor hundreds of charitable and cultural organizations throughout our community, spanning low-income healthcare, youth mentorship programs, education and environmental protection, among many other causes.


Please “Like” us on Facebook or subscribe to our newsletter using the form at the bottom of this page to see what we are involved in this month, or better yet, come to an event to support all of the great things happening in Portland.

Makers and Shakers

Proud to be a part of our local community

New Deal has thrived with the encouragement and support of local businesses and individuals in the community, and we try to keep our business in the local sphere whenever possible. For example, we commissioned a custom-made still from Global Stainless in Canby, Oregon, we use Bob’s Red Mill grains and sugars for whiskey and rum fermentations and liqueur sweeteners, and source coffee beans from local Portland roasters for our Coffee Liqueur.

We invite you to try one of our many award-winning craft spirits and you just might find that one bottle could change your world. 

New Deal We Do Our Part

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