Denver and Colorado have long been recognized as havens for beer lovers and brewers. Only in recent years has that love of fine craft alcohol transferred to the art of distilling spirits.
STRANAHAN'S COLORADO WHISKEY
200 S. Kalamath St.
Stranahan's lays claim to being the first Colorado-born whiskey, and they remain committed to making the smoothest, most distinctively flavored whiskey on the market. How do they do it? By using handcrafted distilling techniques and Colorado's finest natural ingredients. The connoisseurs of the beverage world are taking notice, too: Stranahan's Batch 49 was voted artisanal whiskey of the year in 2010 by Malt Advocate magazine.
Free tours of the distillery last approximately 30-45 minutes and include an overview of the company and a guided stroll through the production brew house, still house and rack house. See the bottling room floor and - most importantly - get a taste of Colorado's most precious gold, Stranahan's Colorado Whiskey. All guests are required to have a valid ID with proof of age. Reservations are highly recommended, especially on Fridays and Saturdays. Make an online reservation.
LOCAL TIP: Before or after your tour, drop into the neighboring Rackhouse Pub to enjoy a hand-picked selection of Colorado beers and micro-distilled spirits, as well as a food menu with creative spins on old classics, as well as new creations that accentuate the unique bar selections. The Rackhouse Pub's decor is created from used Stranahan's barrels and the cedar beams from the original Stranahan's rack house.
Mile High Spirits
2920 Larimer St.
One of the country’s premier private label and custom brand distilleries, Mile High Spirits (MHS) is located in the burgeoning River North Art District (RiNo for short). MHS is one of three distilleries in the world to use an all-glass still for distillation which means that no metals or impurities are picked up throughout the distilling process, allowing for the most pure, crisp, and high quality product possible. Beyond private label, Mile High Spirits offers its own products to the mix, including Elevate Vodka, Fireside Whiskey, Peg Leg Rum, and Denver Dry Gin.
LOCAL TIP: Mile High Spirits' tasting room boasts a great patio with picnic tables and yard games. Come hungry because the tasting room almost always has a delicious food truck vending in front of the glass garage door.
LEOPOLD BROS. DISTILLERY
4950 Nome St.
A family owned and operated small batch distillery located in Denver, Leopold Bros. specializes in hand-crafted whiskies, liqueurs, gin, and Silver Tree Vodka, the highest rated vodka distilled and bottled in America, according to the Beverage Tasting Institute. The 2009 San Francisco Spirits Competition, the largest of its kind in North America, agreed, awarding Silver Tree a Gold Medal.
6770 S. Dawson Cir., Ste. 400, Centennial
Downslope's goal is to produce and sell the highest quality distilled spirits available, to do so locally, and to make those products first available to the Colorado community. Their fine and unique products include Cane Vodka (made from the juice of Maui sugar cane before it is processed into sugar), Pepper Vodka (infused with New Mexico dried red chilies and black pepper from Indonesia), and Gold Rum (created in the same barrels that are used for tequila).
13710 Deere Ct., Longmont
Black Canyon are makers of beautifully balanced whiskey from fine Colorado grain and pure Rocky Mountain water. Located in Longmont.
5311 Western Ave. #180, Boulder
Award-winning Roundhouse Spirits are made in exceptionally small batches, using only the finest raw ingredients - grain, water, spices and herbs, coffee.
Boulder Clear Spirits Company
2500 47th St., Boulder
Boulder Clear Spirits master distiller Steve Viezbicke created all the equipment in this distillery, using it to make the popular 303 Vodka, 303 Whiskey and Rob's Mountain Gin. Located in Boulder.