Bend has not been immune to the rise of canned cocktails. And for that, we’re grateful. Forth Distilled Goods are the newest kids on the block when it comes to canning ready-to-drink cocktails.
Popularity among canned alcoholic beverages — not including beer — has continued to rise. Over the past few years, we’ve seen more wineries drop the stigma of cork and bottle. It’s easy to find your favorite Rosé, sparkling wine, and even red wine by the can. Cocktails started getting the can primarily by larger brands like Bacardi. But, more recently, we’ve seen craft distillers concocting small-batch cocktails ready for the canning.
Bend’s Newest Distillers
The Forth Distilled Goods team includes business partners, Ben Brewer and Joey Pleich. Brewer, a chemist, and Pleich, former sales and marketing manager for Deschutes Brewery. Brewer originally launched Forth in early 2020 to create ready-to-drink, low ABV cocktails in a can. Pleich joined shortly thereafter. The two spent the majority of 2020 brainstorming how to launch Forth Distilled Goods with ready-made products. The first two cocktails to make it to market are the Bourbon Whiskey Smash and Cucumber Gin Gimlet. Both cocktails are 5% ABV.
“With canned and bottled cocktails as the mission, we got licensed and bonded as a distillery and built the branding and brand identity with the help of some very talented local friends. We use quality spirits and all-natural ingredients to create our products. No short cuts, chemicals or artificial sweeteners,” says Pleich. “We want the Forth drinking experience to taste true to the classics cocktails we are emulating while providing a balance built for drinkability.”
Visiting the Northwest Crossing Famer’s Market, I sampled both cocktails and ended up taking home a 4-pack of the cucumber gimlet after the bourbon whiskey smash sold out between samples. The cucumber gimlet, made with gin, lime, and cucumber, is light, refreshing, and low enough ABV to enjoy more than a couple during a hot summer day or happy hour at home. Their whiskey smash is just as refreshing, with its lemon and mint being at the forefront of the flavor profile.
The Future of Canned Cocktails
Things we can expect from Forth in the near future include a tasting room, cocktail club, and bottle return program for their upcoming to-go cocktails in 750ml reusable bottles. “Think of it as a growler fill station for cocktails. Our bottles are built for reuse so we can create less waste in an effort to be sustainable as possible,” says Pleich. You can also keep an eye out for pop-up events, announced on their social media platforms.
Purchase Forth’s canned cocktails at Bend’s NorthWest Crossing Saturday Farmer’s Market through September. You can also order through their website or select local liquor stores. (Rumor has it that 3rd Street Beverage has them in stock!)
Learn more at Forth Distilled Goods