Spirit Chemist

From our founder, The Spirit Chemist

(aka Chris Beatty)


I have worked on sugar and alcohol chemistry for many years. The original plan was to save the world by making clean renewable fuel ethanol from ryegrass and wheat straw. Turns out that the world was not that interested in being saved yet. We'd rather be fracking. Bummer.

While sustainable fuels will have to wait, I realized that my skills in fermentation, distillation, and enzymatic carbohydrate chemistry would be very useful in the spirits business (and probably more fun!). Since liqueurs and whiskies have always been my favorites, those are the areas I decided to pursue.

Anyway, I am excited to be making  products that people are excited about. I hope to use this forum to answer questions from colleagues and customers about our products or other mysteries associated with spirits.

Ask the Spirit Chemist


  • What temperature should I serve the Strawberry-Rhubarb Aperitif?
    Great question. The strawberry-rhubarb is a bit unique and hard to classify. It has aspects of a dessert wine, which is typically served cold (40-45F). Since the SR is somewhat less sweet than many dessert wines, the optimum might be a bit higher toward 50F. I have not done a full test yet myself. As you increase the temperature, the Continue Reading...
  • Where can I buy Spiritopia Ginger Liqueur?
    At this time (2018), Spiritopia Ginger Liqueur is available at about 100 liquor stores across Oregon. You can search for it and our other products with the OLCC product search page. If it is not available near you, please request it or let us know. You can also purchase it at our distillery. Our hours are posted here and you can Continue Reading...
  • Why is the company name of Spiritopia Liqueurs called Oregon Ryegrass Spirits?
    Well, that's a bit of a story. Back when I was doing ethanol research, I discovered some cool stuff about how to make a unique whiskey from ryegrass. Not rye the grain, but ryegrass like turf and grazing. The flavor it adds is kind of earthy/smoky and reminds me of a cross between a single malt and a good cachaca. Anyway, Continue Reading...
  • I love the ginger! Does Spiritopia make other flavors?
    Yes! We released Spiritopia Apple Liqueur in the summer of 2015. We  also sell a limited release of cask strength, bourbon style apple brandy. We also have our Pomegranate Liqueur and Peppermint Liqueur in stores....
  • Do you do distillery tours?
    Yes, we do. Spiritopia is not big, but we are proud of our product and process. We often have samples and short-run products that are not available anywhere else. Feel free to call if you would like to set something up. Our contact info and location can be found here....