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Just Rum's new Sandy tasting room posted on 03/31/2023

John Hasbrouck got started in the distillation industry after inheriting some whiskey distillation equipment from his great-uncle. Despite having little interest in whiskey production, Hasbrouck began experimenting with the apparatus.

After hundreds of hours of refining and honing his skills and methodologies, Hasbrouck is now ready to share the fruits of his labors, traditional sipping rum produced by his company, Just Rum, with the world.

One of the significant milestones for Just Rum was the opening of their tasting room earlier this year. Conveniently located in downtown Sandy, the tasting room is home to Just Rum and Boring Cider Company. It offers light bar fare, such as pizza and paninis, is open to minors and serves non-alcoholic beverages.

Hasbrouck sees the tasting room as a learning opportunity.

“I’ve never owned a bar or restaurant before,” he said. “The purpose of this tasting room is so that I can figure out how to do this.”

Despite his lack of experience in the restaurant and bar industry, Hasbrouck has big ambitions.

“When we outgrow this building, I want to build a campus,” he said. “A full-service restaurant, catering, a bar, a lounge and a speakeasy. I want to make rum and ciders, build a cooperage, and make barrels. I really want to contribute to Sandy. I love the community and the small-town feel.”

The tasting room is one of those key steps from their beginnings producing rum solely for retail distribution.

The early days of the company saw Hasbrouck and his close friend James Roberts selecting pure, unrefined ingredients to create their recipe. The pair perfected the recipe and founded Just Rum with their friend, Greg Masden, in 2018.

Their first and simplest product is dubbed The Simple White. Originating directly from the still, this is rum as pure as it comes. Though this pure product has its purposes, Hasbrouck wanted to infuse flavor and character into the product.

Taking inspiration from traditional whiskey flavors, another rum, Toasted Oak, was born. Wood-rested in a toasted oak barrel as the name suggests, this rum is revered for its whiskey-like flavor profile and characteristics.

As Just Rum continued to gain popularity and commercial viability, a third flavor was born. The Maple Rested offers a gentle sweetness from the toasted maple wood it resides in.

In 2019, Just Rum took home two gold medals from the Rum Renaissance Festival in Miami for Simple White and Rested Maple, cementing their popularity from their humble beginnings in Sandy.

Throughout the journey, Just Rum has strived to remain a distiller of high-quality spirits using pure ingredients. Now producing more than seven varieties of rum, merchandise, flights and tastings, Hasbrouck and his team are expanding sales into southern Washington and soon Idaho.

Though Hasbrouck’s dreams of a sprawling rum-fueled campus are distant, these early years are just as crucial.

“We’re getting better at it,” he said. “We’re figuring it out. We’re not pretentious.”

Just Rum is located at 17020 Ruben Lane in Sandy. The tasting room is open daily from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., except on Fridays through Sundays when the doors stay open until 9 p.m. More information can be found online at www.justrum.com or by phone at 503-498-8710.

By Ty Tilden/MT





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