Portland’s Hardshore Distilling Gins Up Something New

After seven years devoted to gin, the company is out with a bourbon line.

bottle of Hardshore Distilling Company's Shorebird bourbon
Photo by Hannah Hoggatt
By Will Grunewald
From our December 2023 issue

For more than a decade, Jordan Milne was devoted almost solely to gin — four years of planning, experimenting, and taste-testing, then seven years of running Hardshore Distilling Company, in Portland, on the strength of his single gin recipe. “A guiding principle of ours,” he says, “is to do fewer things better. We didn’t want to spread our attention too thin and wind up not really knocking anything out of the park.” Still, Milne did keep one other project running in the background. He put his first batch of bourbon in barrels in early 2017 and kept adding more (and, same as with the gin, used grains only from his family’s upstate New York farm). This fall, after patiently waiting for his stash to mature, Milne debuted three iterations of Shorebird bourbon, ranging in age from four to six years and in price from $60 to $100. (To parse their many nuances without investing in multiple bottles, stop by the tasting room for a flight.) Milne says the goal is to continue growing the bourbon portfolio. But, as ever, he doesn’t want to rush it. 

In addition to making highly drinkable (and gift-able) bourbons, Hardshore Distilling recently expanded its tasting room, added a food program, and put other producers’ beer, wine, cider, and spirits on the menu. 53 Washington Ave., Portland. 207-536-0592.

May 2024, Down East Magazine

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