I had just completed my MFA in fiction and was working on a novel, when our world tilted: the company where my husband Jeff worked abruptly closed—28 days’ notice, no severance.
Once the shock wore off, we took the opportunity to reimagine our lives. We rented out our place and spent 6 months house-sitting in the San Juan Islands, where we spent every day, all day, brainstorming business ideas (and also watching otters frolic, and ferry boats glide by). Some sort of beverage company was an obvious choice, due to our passion for flavor and all things drinks.
After a spectacular whale-watching trip with friends, I became ill with a rare neurological malady with a fantastic French name—mal de debarquement. I was constantly swaying; it was as if I was falling-down-drunk. That health challenge led to a commitment to healthier choices for both of us. We committed to mindful drinking as a permanent lifestyle change, and For Bitter For Worse was born.
I love how we’re affecting people’s lives. We make drinks, but our mission is inclusion. As a longtime activist, mission is crucial to me. It’s rewarding to receive thanks for what you produce, and we get so many heartwarming thank yous. Also, for years, Jeff was the primary breadwinner; it’s gratifying for me to lead our next chapter. I love working closely with Jeff. We’d efficiently compartmentalized our life, and now at midlife, it’s rewarding to shake it up.
Portland! Our heart’s home is the Siskiyou, but the Portland food and beverage scene is among the most vibrant in the nation. We spent a week there doing two holiday sales and found ourselves with ardent fans and two retail accounts (Market of Choice and New Seasons). We moved to service those accounts, to make restaurant and bar connections, and to hang out with other makers.
We do! For any wholesale inquiries, please feel free to get in touch with us and we can discuss further.
A cocktail is generally made with a base spirit, a modifier (often another spirit), and a mixer. Most mocktails hit just one of these "notes," and it's usually the sweet juice/mixer component. We use an actual copper still and a method of "reverse bootlegging" to craft our booze-free spirits. Our recipes are properly balanced cocktails including a strong spirit-free base, modifiers containing our proprietary botanical blends, and organic Northwest ingredients: Douglas fir tips and Saskatoon berries.
Yes! All of our varietals are made without gluten or animal products.
Sediment is natural, just like our drinks. We don’t use gums or emulsifiers, so “dregs” are expected.
Absolutely! Our reverse bootlegging process removes alcohol from the herbaceous base spirit. Our drinks are less than .5% ABV.
Everyone has their own recovery process, and triggers are unique to the individual. Please make the choice that’s right for you. Cheers to your health and recovery.
We purposefully designed recipes that are inclusive, striving to satisfy people who are pregnant, and those who have diabetes and/or allergies, and we use ingredients deemed by the FDA to be generally recognized as safe. That said, everybody is different, and we encourage you to consult the appropriate care provider if you have concerns.
And yes, some people do report a placebo effect. You may experience a loosening-up, increased sociability—a feeling you just put on your party pants. Associations and sensory stimulus are powerful and fascinating. We don’t make functional claims, but we do know you won’t be intoxicated or hungover after consuming our cocktails.
We formulated the flavors to be complex and satisfying without alcohol, but you do you. We're not gonna judge. And if you create an incredible concoction, let us know about it!
We designed our cocktails to be ready to enjoy straight out of the bottle. However, dilution is personal—if our flavors are more concentrated than you prefer, simply add sparkling water to taste.
And while our drinks are ready to go, even on the go, if you want to get fancy with the shaker, head over to our recipes page for an evolving roster of riffs.
Once opened, bottles should be refrigerated. They will last several weeks in the fridge, but as with any carbonated beverage, the spritz will lose its bubbles after a time. Add a splash of seltzer to regain the sparkle.
Right now, we only ship within the continental U.S. But we are in the works of expanding our destinations - thanks for your patience!
We offer flat rate shipping depending on the number of bottles purchased.
Shipping glass is expensive but we do help offset the cost to our customers by covering part of the fee. What you pay is only a portion of what we're charged!
We ship UPS ground. Typical transit times range from 1 day within Oregon and parts of Washington, to 5 days to the East Coast. We like the fact that UPS is a union company. If you really want your order shipped fast and you’re willing to pay for it, call us and we’ll make it happen. Depending on the delivery destination, orders can take up to 2 weeks to arrive.