August 21 – September 30, 2020Vol. 22, No. 11

Take in a Tasting: Tree Spirits Winery and Distillery

Bruce Olson

Local business, local craftsman, local ingredients and a lot of fun! In a socially-distancing time when tasting rooms and bars have been categorized together and have yet to be able to re-open due to COVID-19 precautions, Tree Spirits in Oakland has been successfully offering tastings all summer…outdoors.

The small, one-man-does-it-all winery and distillery located at 152 Fairfield Street (Route 23) since 2010 is the success story of Bruce Olson and the tastings, with state approval of the outdoor tables, continue almost as always.

Although tables are appropriately distanced, masks are required, there are no tours of the production facility, there is a plastic screen between Bruce and the customers and the customers write their choices on menus that are plastic and easily cleaned, a tasting remains a much-appreciated opportunity to go out.

Following a short talk about the business by Bruce, the sampling begins. A $5 tasting menu includes five choices of products that feature apple, pear, and maple picnic wines; sparkling wines; and brandies — absinthe costs a dollar more — and customers keep the glass.

Significantly, the taste is local: the apples and pears that go into the products are from the Apple Farm in Fairfield and the maple syrup is from the Bacon Farm in Sidney.

Following the tasting, customers may purchase the Tree Spirits products, which incidentally make great gifts. People have been buying a lot more this season, Bruce explains. He also points out that a lot more locals, people who have been driving by for years, are stopping. And, although a tasting is an adult outing, for those without a sitter, there's no law against bringing kids along, hopefully with something to entertain them in the car or parking lot.

Tree Spirits is open Wednesday through Saturday, noon to 5:30 p.m., and does not require reservations. For more information visit treespiritsofMaine.com, call 465-3007, go take in a tasting.