By Karen On September 7, 2018

Meet Founder of High-Proof Creative, Karen Locke

Hey there! Karen here, founder of High-Proof Creative. I’m proud to be one of the few woman-owned creative agencies in the craft distilling industry. I get asked a lot about my background, and how I became involved with craft beverage brands, so here’s a breakdown of some of my experience, favorite beverages, and more. 

Background & Experience

  • Nearly 10 years of editorial writing about booze for magazines like GQ magazine, Bon Appétit, Thrillist, Sip Northwest, Chilled magazine, OnTrak magazine, Tales of the Cocktail, Willamette Week
  • Creative, and marketing agency experience in Portland since 2011
  • Board member, Women’s Distillery Guild – 2018
  • Board member, Portland Culinary Alliance – 2019
  • Tended bar, and served while living in Minneapolis, and after moving to Portland
  • Worked in one of Portland’s still existing food carts called Flavour Spot (still hate making waffles to this day)
  • B.A. Journalism, and Mass Communication from University of Minnesota, and A.A. Marketing & Advertising

Favorite Beverages Right Now

  • Amari, amari, amari
  • Aged or barrel rested rum
  • Basque cider
  • Green-bottled beer

Recent Projects

Non-Work Related

  • Born and raised in Iowa (no, not Ohio or Idaho)
  • Lived in Minneapolis before moving to Portland (awesome distilling scene going down there!)
  • Loves: dark bars, theater, camping, museums, commuting by bicycle

Weird/Fun Facts

  • Produced Fruit by the Foot one summer at General Mills
  • Studied/learned the Thai language in an immersion program in Khon Kaen, Thailand
  • Made a television personality drink straight vodka on air



Karen Locke is Founder of High-Proof Creative. She has written about booze for magazines like GQ magazine, Bon Appétit, Thrillist, Sip Northwest, Chilled, and more. Additionally, Karen has many years of creative, and marketing agency work in Portland. She believes the darker the bar, the better.

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