Our Story

Meet Our Team

Sebastian and Erika Degens, Founders

Husband-and-wife team Sebastian and Erika Degens are the founders of Stone Barn Brandyworks. Sebastian spent much of his childhood in Germany, and developed a palate for fruit brandy in Hamburg as a teenager. Erika grew up in the countryside of upstate New York, oblivious to the delights of alcohol but already well down the rabbit hole of fruit and berry connoisseurship. Erika and Sebastian first discovered Portland on a road trip north from California, and landed here to stay on a cold November day in 1980. They quickly joined the Mycological Society and began foraging for chanterelles. This delight in Pacific Northwest abundance soon expanded into fruit, vegetables, and home canning chutneys, jams, and preserves.. These early experiences have become a lifelong appreciation for the remarkable bounty of the Pacific Northwest, and are reflected in the business they began together.

Andy Garrison, Head Distiller

Originally from Chicago, Andy Garrison has been Stone Barn’s lead distiller since 2012. His insatiable appetite for technical white papers and cooperage conference proceedings keeps the ideas flowing, especially when it comes to Stone Barn’s whiskey program. Inspired by global spirits traditions, Andy loves a good project, whether that’s malting corn on his basement floor, fermenting koji-innoculated winter squash, or smoking his own malted wheat using decommissioned barrel staves.

Tillman Degens, Farmers Market Staff and Production Assistant

Some of you may have already seen Tillman at Portland State University Farmers Market on Saturdays or Montavilla Market on Sundays manning our Stone Barn table.  As soon as he turned 21 in July we hired our nephew to help with production and the farmers markets.  He helped with our pear brandy mashes, and of course has tasted through all our spirits as well as various whiskey barrels in our warehouse unit.  A graduate from the University of Oregon in Eugene, Tillman is currently enrolled in the Masters of Economics program at U of O.