If you live in, near or are visiting Portland and consider yourself a pear lover (who doesn’t?) you simply must visit Clear Creek Distillery. The owner, Steve McCarthy, has been making pear brandy for over twenty years, and more recently began making pear liqueur as well. Steve and his crew crush and ferment whole Bartlett pears (grown on Steve’s family farm in Oregon), then distill the pure fruit mash in their German-made pot stills.
Here’s a fun fact I learned on my tour – it takes 30 pounds of Bartletts to make one 750ml bottle of pear brandy! Now, you can buy one of these bottles for about 40 bucks (smaller sizes are also available), or you can bite the bullet and spring for the Pear-in-the-Bottle version for about twice as much. This is a beautiful product because they actually grow the pear in a bottle in the orchard starting in the spring, tend to them all summer, harvest in late August and then painstakingly scrub each bottle by hand before filling it with the pear brandy!
Let me tell you something else, I’ve had some impressive cocktails that make use of Clear Creek pear brandy. We have one fantastic recipe on our website, and you can also email me for other ideas. Also – don’t forget to check out Clear Creek’s website for tour and tasting info!!!