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Jim Bendis established Bendistillery in 1996 — the name is a mashup of his last name, his location in Bend, OR, and the word “distillery.” His first spirit was Crater Lake Gin, named after the crystal clear caldera lake in south-central Oregon that formed when the volcano Mount Mazama collapsed about 150 years ago. Oregon’s water is famous for its purity because a great deal of it flows over volcanic rock formations like Mazama. To mimic this process and create the purest spirit possible, Bendis developed a filtration system that uses crushed volcanic rock. They have a spirit filtered just like our water…that’s why it’s so smooth and sweet. Sixteen years and many spirits awards later, it’s clear that people really do love Bendistillery’s products. The distillery is America’s most award-winning small batch distillery.