The U.S. state of Oregon has an extensive history of laws regulating the sale and consumption of alcoholic beverages, dating back to 1844. It has been an alcoholic beverage control state, with the Oregon Liquor and Cannabis Commission holding a monopoly over the sale of all distilled beverages, since Prohibition. Today, there are thriving industries producing beer, wine, and liquor in the state. Alcohol may be purchased between 7 a.m. and 2:30 a.m for consumption at the premise it was sold at, or between 6 a.m. and 2:30 a.m. if it is bought and taken off premise. In 2020, Oregon began allowing the sale of alcohol via home delivery services. As of 2007, consumption of spirits was on the rise while beer consumption held steady. That same year, 11% of beer sold in Oregon was brewed in-state, the highest figure in the United States.
Oregon wine production began in the mid-19th century, before it was a state. By 1919, the industry had collapsed due to prohibition, and after prohibition ended fruit wines dominated the industry. The modern era of Oregon wine began in 1961, and the industry cemented its reputation in 1975 by winning a French award. In 2007, wine making was a $207.8 million business. Beer production began in 1852 with Henry Saxer’s liberty brewing in Portland. In 1862 Henry Weinhard’s bought the Liberty brewery. The company is now a part of the Miller Brewing Company, but it helped Portland to become the microbrewing capital of the world. Portland hosts North America’s largest beerfest, and Oregon has produced a number of national and international award winning beers.
In 1844, the Oregon territories voted to prohibit alcoholic beverages. This was repealed in 1845, but prohibition was reinstated in 1915, four years before the national alcohol prohibition. When national prohibition was repealed in 1933, the Oregon Liquor Control Commission (OLCC) was created. The agency changed its name in 2021 to the Oregon Liquor and Cannabis Commission. Unlike states that allow liquor sales in grocery stores, liquor in Oregon is sold only in OLCC run liquor stores and establishments that have liquor licenses, and the OLCC has strict guidelines and training to ensure that all licensed venues understand how to safely sell and serve alcoholic beverages. Alcohol and alcoholism are also studied by the state at the Portland Alcohol Research Center.
Alcohol laws in Oregon permit the sale of beer, wine, and liquor, for on- or off-premises consumption, between 7 a.m. and 2:30 a.m. In 2004, Oregonians consumed 5,103,000 US gallons (19,320,000 L) of distilled spirits, 11,132,000 US gallons (42,140,000 L) of wine, and 80,415,000 US gallons (304,400,000 L) of beer, ranking it 27th, 19th, and 27th respectively of US states. Oregon had an estimated population of 3,594,586 in 2004, ranking it 27th among US states.
In 2007, sales of spirits increased 9% over the previous year. Whiskey and vodka were the top sellers, while tequila had the largest percentage increase. Oregonians’ top buy was Jack Daniel’s, with 412,000 bottles sold. This was during a national spirits trend where manufacturers introduced new products and advertising aimed at young drinkers. Again in 2007, Oregon’s 2.6 million adults on average drank 32 gallons of beer each, versus 4 gallons of wine and 2 gallons of spirits, but sales of beer hadn’t increased like sales of spirits. The Oregon Department of Human Services reported that while drinking among 8th–11th graders has fallen nationally, it has increased in Oregon. The number of DUI offenses dropped between 2002 and 2005, from 25,342 to 23,455.
The following table lists the amount of beer consumed in Oregon for the years 1997–2004 as reported in the 2005 Beer Handbook. The scale is in 1,000s of cases of beer. A case of beer is 24 12-ounce beers, for a total of 2.25 gallons per case.