If you are an avid reader of this blog or a friend of mine, then it should be common knowledge by now that I am a HUGE fan of the specialty coffee industry. Portland is actually pretty well known for being a hub for those who are into speciality coffee. A little bit lesser known fact is that the city is also making big strides in the tea industry, Steven Smith having really laid the foundation for the industry, in not only Portland but also throughout the country, by co-founding popular tea brand, Stash, back in 1972. After successfully running Stash, the company was sold in 1993 and Smith then went on to found Tazo tea company. After selling Tazo to Starbucks, he then created Steven Smith Teamaker and ran the company until his death in 2015. I’m not sure how this turned into a history lesson on the important figures in the tea world, but now you know! Ever since Smith’s breakthrough role in cultivating the specialty tea industry, many more successful specialty tea companies have popped up in Portland, such as Jasmine Pearl Tea Company and Townshend’s (the company this post is really all about). Townshend’s might actually be a name that you recognize, as they not only have a series of teahouses scattered throughout Oregon, Montana and Utah, but they are also the geniuses behind Brew Dr. Kombucha and Thomas & Sons Distillery. I have been fortunate enough to have been fully immersed in the the brand that is Townshend’s, as my cousin actually just opened the Park City, Utah location on June 1st. If you are in the Park City area at any point (residing in or just rolling through) make sure to stop by, grab a bubble tea/chai/matcha/kombucha on tap or whatever tickles your fancy.
Recently, Townshend’s released their seasonal botanical gin and threw a little garden party at one of their tea houses to celebrate. There, they had tastings of all of their Thomas & Sons liquor, specialty gin cocktails and the most AMAZING treats provided by local bakery Sweetheart St. Johns. I managed to capture a bit of the event, while also enjoying what they had to offer.
Overall, I thought that the gin was amazing and it seemed to be a hit among all the other attendees, as well. I also cannot say enough fantastic things about Sweetheart St. Johns. The floral, gin infused strawberry jello was absolute HEAVEN. I swear I heard angels singing whenever I took a bite. If you’re in Portland, I highly recommend stopping by the Thomas & Sons tasting room at 4211 SE Milwaukie Ave. They do tastings Wednesday through Friday from 4pm to 7pm and Saturday/Sunday 12pm to 7pm. Stay tuned for an upcoming post all about my Thomas & Sons favorites, as well as my favorite flavors of Brew Dr. Kombucha!