Candy Cocktails for the Spooky Season

Halloween is all about spirits and candy treats. What could be more appropriate in October than mixing up some candy cocktails? There are no reasons adults can’t enjoy both the sweet and scary sides of Halloween this year. Whether you’re throwing a gathering to kick off the season or you want to wait for a final blast during the weekend of Halloween, stock up on beverages from Columbia Distributing and make these treat-inspired cocktails to share with your guests.

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Dessert Wines for Dinner Parties

Closeup of wine glasses toasting in celebration

Wine is a staple at most dinner parties, so taking the time to properly select the best bottle will help make your night a success. In its broadest sense, dessert wine is any wine that is enjoyed during or after dessert. More specifically, it is usually sweet with pronounced flavor and higher alcohol content. With a wide variety of dessert wines in our lineup, Columbia Distributing prides itself on being the premier beverage distributor in Oregon, Washington, and California. Here, we discuss some of the best dessert wines to enjoy at a dinner party, all of which can be found in our inventory.

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Exploring Different Types and Brands of Bottled Water

Bottles of mineral water with blue caps on an assembly line

Buying a bottle of water isn’t as simple as it sounds. At most supermarkets and even at some vending machines, there is a wide variety of different brands and types of water to choose from. If one label says “purified” while the next says “natural spring water,” does that mean the spring water isn’t pure? Is “sparkling water” just a fancy name for seltzer, or is it something entirely different? Here, Columbia Distributing breaks down all the different types of bottled water to help you make the right decision next time you need to quench your thirst.

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Enjoying Cold Chocolate Drinks When It Gets Hot

Chocolate milk in jar with bowl of cocoa and cinnamon sticks

Enjoying an ice-cold chocolate drink in hot weather cools you off no matter what scientific researchers say. Scientists argue that hot drinks cool people off better than cold beverages, but anecdotal evidence demonstrates a clear preference for cold beverages on a hot day. At Columbia Distributing, we carry an extensive assortment of chocolate-flavored drinks, premium sodas, and chocolate beverages for our health-conscious customers, including wellness drinks designed for active people.

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West Coast Beers for Transitioning from Summer to Fall

Two glasses of beer on wooden table surrounded by autumn yellow leaves

Craft beer’s rise in popularity over the past couple of decades has brought an abundance of styles with it. That means finding the perfect brew is easier than ever when the weather transitions from hot summer days to cooler fall evenings. From IPAs to stouts, there’s no shortage of selection to suit any mood. Here, Columbia Distributing explores different selections to satisfy your palate from Portland, Oregon; Santa Rosa, California; and Seattle, Washington.

Oregon Beers

Portland, Oregon, is a great source of craft beers to match any season. One of the top brands in the region is Migration Brewing. This brewery delivers a broad selection of beers, including the aggressively hoppy Fresh Outta Portland IPA, which is perfect for a hot sunny day with its herbal, pine, resin, and citrus flavors.

If you’re looking for something a little less hoppy, but still perfect for warm days, Migration Patio Ale might fit the bill. Layers of passion fruit, pineapple, and grapefruit give this American pale ale a light and dry mouthful, making it perfect for sipping while spending time outdoors.

For when the weather turns chilly, Migration Brewing’s Westward Frankie is for you. This imperial stout features deep flavors of chocolate, coffee, and roasted grain.

California Beers

The Russian River Brewing Company in Santa Rosa, California, is another brand that crafts tasty brews perfect for matching any weather, mood, or temperature.

For early fall days when it’s warm and you need something refreshing, try their Sanctification Brett beer. Technically, this is neither ale nor lager. The base recipe is for a golden ale, but then primary fermentation is done with 100% Brettanomyces, which is a wild yeast that gives the beer some sour notes.

If it’s a hoppy beer you’re looking for to pair with a warm day, Russian River has you covered with their Happy Hops American IPA. This brew features an immense hop flavor and aroma with only a mild bitterness.

For pairing with cooler and rainy days, look no further than Russian River’s Supplication. This brown ale is aged in pinot noir barrels sourced from local Sonoma County wineries. It’s aged for about 12 months with sour cherries, Brettanomyces, Lactobacillus, and Pediococcus added to each barrel. The flavors from the cherries, pinot noir, and oak balance each other out while the Brett adds a little funkiness to the brew.

Finally, when the autumn weather really starts to turn cold, you’ll want a full-bodied brew that you can sip while sitting next to a fire. Russian River’s Consecration is perfect for that. This dark ale is aged four to eight months in cabernet sauvignon barrels with black currants, Brettanomyces, Lactobacillus, and Pediococcus. This all translates to rich flavors of chocolate truffle, spice, tobacco, currants, and a hint of cabernet.

Washington Beers

When the weather starts to turn cooler in September and October, many beer drinkers seek out pumpkin beers. One Pacific Northwest brewery worth checking out that offers a pumpkin ale is Ghostfish Brewing Co. in Seattle. The brewery’s Lunar Harvest Pumpkin Ale features a mix of fall spices and pumpkin puree, all blended seamlessly with the natural spices and fruity esters brought out from the Belgian yeast used to make the ale.

If you’re not quite ready to dive into the flavors of fall, Ghostfish offers up their Grapefruit IPA. Brewed with a blend of Cascade and Horizon hops, and then dry-hopped with Altus hops, this American IPA is a citrus bomb. Its lively and bright flavors with pungent grapefruit aroma are sure to be refreshing on warmer days.

When the nights turn cool, you’ll want a brew that’s darker and has a fuller body. The Watchstander Stout from Ghostfish is perfect for sipping around a campfire. Dark roasts of malted millet, buckwheat, and brown rice give this brew hints of dark chocolate, toasted marshmallow, and coffee.

Find the Perfect Brew Today

Whether you’re clinging onto the last bits of summer with a citrusy IPA or looking to curl up under a blanket with your favorite stout as autumn starts to settle in, Columbia Distributing has you covered. We serve Oregon, Washington, and California with a variety of beers, ciders, liquors, and more. Contact us today to find your perfect brew.

Top Brunch Cocktails to Liven Up the Party

Pink cocktails with salted rims and grapefruit and lime slices

If you want to take your upcoming brunch gathering to the next level, you’ll need to serve the right cocktails. Brunch foods and cocktails go together like, well, bacon and eggs. Lighter, fruity, and bubbly beverages generally go best with midday meals. However, lighter brunch dishes and appetizers pair well with heavier drinks. Whether you’re ordering out from a restaurant or making everything at home, the following brunch cocktail suggestions from Columbia Distributing will complement the meal perfectly. 

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A Loving Look at Lager and Its Unique Flavor Profile

Beer production plant with several rows of steel tanks

A lager is a style of beer that, compared to traditional brewing, is made with a longer fermentation process at a lower temperature. This requires more storage time, which means the overhead costs of producing a fine lager are higher than those of an ordinary beer. Ales also rank as specific types of beer. The technical differences between these products relate to the brewing process. Brewing lagers requires a longer fermentation period, and that fermentation occurs from the bottom up to the top. Regular beer and ales ferment at higher temperatures from the top down.

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Top Things We’ve Missed About Going Out for Drinks

Group of people toasting beer in pub

Do you miss the ambiance and excitement of sitting around a table at a bar sipping your favorite drink and socializing with friends? It feels like forever since the COVID-19 pandemic changed the world, forcing everyone to embrace doing almost everything from home. As you ease back into going out, Columbia Distributing covers some of the things you might have missed the most.

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Exploring What Cherries Add to Drinks

Two glasses of cherry juice surrounded by fresh cherries

Cherries have been an accent, garnish, and enjoyable addition to all types of food and drink for centuries. With their stark red appearance and notable taste, cherries often enhance the taste of the foods and drinks they are added to. However, with many varieties of cherries to choose from, you may find yourself wondering which ones you should be adding to your drinks.

The first question is whether you want sweet cherries or tart cherries. Sweet cherries are easier to find, but tart cherries have historically seen much more use as garnishes and additions to drinks. Consider Italy, where tart cherries thrive. Italy is where cocktail cherries first gained traction. To best understand this, you need to know a little bit of history about Italian cherries first. Columbia Distributing takes a look at the marriage between cherries and drinks and the history behind this perfect combo.

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Lemonade Cocktails

Lemonade Cocktails

The feeling of a crisp, cool lemonade on a hot summer day is as timeless as it is refreshing, and most everyone can appreciate the relaxation that comes with a glass of lemonade in hand. With National Lemonade Day right around the corner, there couldn’t be a better time to plan a get-together after work. Here are a few lemonade cocktail recipes from Columbia Distributing that are sure to help you wind down and cool off during this noteworthy occasion and other hot summer days in August.

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