About the Distillery
Mike Selberg opened Cannon Beach Distillery on July 1st 2012 with the singular goal of crafting the best possible spirits. Every drop of alcohol we produce is fermented from raw ingredients, distilled, matured, bottled and labeled in house, in Cannon Beach, Oregon. We will not sell a spirit unless we believe it is of high enough quality to enjoy neat, at room temperature. We fully expect and welcome their use in cocktails, but we believe it is our job to focus on the spirit first and the cocktail second. None of our spirits are sweetened, thickened, caramel colored, chill filtered, or adulterated in any way after they are distilled except to be proofed and/or barrel-aged prior to bottling.
Every spirit is crafted in small batches, open-top fermented, and single distilled through a custom made Vendome Copper Still named Bernie. We believe that every customer should leave our tasting room with a greater knowledge of spirits in general. The quality of our product will always come first, but educating consumers is vital to the enjoyment of all great spirits.
Cannon Beach Distillerys’ commitment to quality has lead to national recognition. In 2014, the Donlon Shanks Amber Rum was awarded a Gold Medal, Best in Category, and Best in Class of any style of Rum at the American Distilling Institute, the largest and longest running national competition for craft spirits. The following year, the Dorymen’s Silver Rum was awarded a Best of Category for all un-aged Rums in the same competition. In the first 3 years of business, Cannon Beach Distillery has been awarded 12 different similar honors for its core three spirits.
We believe that Distilling is an art form, and that spirits should be harmonious compositions of aromas, flavors, textures, and finishing tones. We are constantly refining our process with the goal of making every batch better than the last. A batch number is written on every bottle so that people enjoying our spirits can track our progress and compare each new batch to the last.
We group the spirits we craft into three different categories
The Rock Series are Spirits we produce on a regular basis, and should always be available. This series consists of the Dorymen’s Silver Rum, Mutineer Spiced Rum, Donlon Shanks Amber Rum, Il Kêyóte Spirits Distilled from Agave, Xalapa Agave Distilled w/ Jalapeno and The Pharmicist Old Tom Gin.
The Tidal Series are spirits we produce every year, seasonally, or when we simply have time. Currently this series consists of the Easy Bouy, Lost Buoy Gin and Peters’ Family Gin.
The Carronade Collection are spirits that are manufactured once, and may never be repeated. We take Whiskey very seriously. So seriously that we would gladly sacrifice the financial gain of a regularly produced Whiskey so that we can experiment with different mash bills, fermentation, distillation, and maturation techniques. We have hardly begun to explore all the possibilities of what Whiskey can be. This collection allows us to gain a better understanding of a variety of techniques and puts Cannon Beach Distillery on the cutting edge of new styles and ideas. We try to produce a new spirit in this collection every few months, but age most a minimum of two years. Sign up on our mailing list and stay posted to social media to get updates on future releases.
About the Distilller:
Mike Selberg was born in Portland OR and spent his young life bouncing around the Northwest and Colorado. He spent every summer in Cannon Beach, so it was no surprise that he made it his permanent residence a few days after graduating High School.
Mike attended the University of Puget Sound in Tacoma, WA where he studied everything from Music to Psychology to Art History, before finally landing in the Natural Sciences. Biology and Chemistry allowed him the opportunity to learn with his hands in Lab classes.
“There was something about starting with an ingredient or compound and manipulating it into something completely different that was intriguing and fun.”
Mike was introduced to home brewing by his college friends, and continued making beer as a hobby years after he graduated. This foundation in the natural sciences along with experience with fermentation coalesced when Mike and Larry Peters Sr., a friend and regular at the bar he worked at, started discussing what it would take to manufacture Gin. Those discussions planted a seed of an idea that is still growing to this day.
The following year, Mike spent almost every waking moment researching the process of manufacturing distilled spirits. He explored as many distilleries as he could gain access to, read all the books, researched the Internet, enrolled in Whiskey making workshops through the American Distilling Institute, and attended numerous seminars and conventions within the industry.
“I learned that many, if not most, distilleries did not conduct every step of production to manufacture their spirits. There was a lot of purchasing and blending going on. I couldn’t imagine letting go of any aspect of the process. There are so many steps to creating a spirit, and each can be manipulated in a host of different ways. I wanted my spirits to be uniquely my own. I wanted to make something that no one had ever tasted before, and the only way to do that was to control as much of the process as I could. There is so much room for experimentation in this industry, it seemed crazy that more distilleries weren’t crafting new styles or new categories of spirits every day.”
In November of 2011, Mike registered Cannon Beach Distillery with the State of Oregon, and began putting plans together to find a space to put it. The next 8 months were a hurricane of permits, planning and logistics. On July 1st 2012, he opened the doors to the tasting room with 3 unlabeled spirits, two Gins and clear Rum. Mike handled every aspect of the startup himself.
For the first year and a half, Mike did everything at the distillery. Every drop of alcohol was mashed, fermented, distilled, proofed, and bottled by his hands. He designed the packaging and labels. He ran the tasting room, often while juggling production, bookkeeping, and everything it takes to run a business. His mother Gigi was his saving grace with her unwavering support and willingness to do the small things around the shop that kept the business together.
“I couldn’t have done it without her. All of my family was instrumental to my success. Whether it was business advice, money, reality checks, or simply sweeping the floors and taking recycling, they were all there for me, and continue to guide me through this.”
To this day, Mike distills every drop himself. He has much needed help in the tasting room and aspects of the production, but clings to the belief that distilling spirits is an art form.
“My spirits are constantly being refined. I don’t ever want to make the exact same spirit twice. I want to make every batch better than the last. That’s why we put a batch number on every bottle. Every spirit has an extremely complex composition. Minor changes in single aspect of the production can have a significant affect on the final character. It can always be better. The composition can always be more harmonious. I have a ton to learn, but I take pride in everything that has come out of here. It’s my hope that my spirits speak for themselves.”