Denver and Colorado have long been recognized as havens for beer lovers and brewers, which explains the wide variety of brewery tours. Only in recent years has that love of fine craft alcohol transferred to the art of distilling spirits.
Please check with distilleries individually before you venture out for the latest COVID-19-related policy updates and hours of operation.
Archetype Distillery's Archangel Vodka and Archrival Gin are made from fresh-pressed grapes, not grains, giving the spirits a distinctive smooth, dry and subtly sweet taste. Every drop is made on-site in custom copper stills by Master Distiller Michael Chapyak, a graduate of Moonshine University in Louisville, Kentucky. The building dates back to 1917, when it opened its doors as the Webber Theater, a beautiful motion-picture theater that was said to be unequaled in the entire United States at the time. In 2015, Archetype breathed new life into the building, restoring both the famous façade and the interior. Stop by the South Broadway tasting room to sip one of Archetype's skillfully crafted cocktails. Want more? Book an Archetype Experience ($25) for a tour of the building and distillery, starting with a welcome cocktail and ending with a guided tasting flight. Upgrade to the Premium Archetype Experience ($55), which also includes an immersive mixology lesson taught by one of the distillery's master bartenders. Book your experience online.
Stranahan's lays claim to being the first Colorado-born whiskey, and the company remains 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 Artisan Whiskey of the Year in 2009 by Whisky Advocate magazine. And that's not the company's only award: Stranahan's Baker cocktail lounge was recently ranked the No. 1 whiskey bar in the U.S. by Yelp reviewers! Tours ($15) of the distillery last approximately one hour 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 tour guests will receive $10 off one bottle of 750mL whiskey purchased from Stranahan's General Store the day of the tour. Make an online reservation.
Laws Whiskey House, located just off South Broadway, is all about the long game. Each batch of its A.D. Laws Four Grain Straight Bourbon is produced via traditional open-air fermentation, aged a minimum of two years in 53-gallon charred American White Oak barrels and includes meticulously sourced ingredients: water, yeast, corn, barley, wheat and rye. (Hence the name "Four Grain.") Speaking of grain, Laws uses only heirloom and heritage grains from family-owned farms. And that attention to detail has paid off: Laws took home top honors for their Bottled in Bond San Luis Valley Straight Rye at the 2020 World Whiskies Awards, as well as a bronze medal in the non-Kentucky category for their 6-Year Bottled in Bond Straight Four Grain Bourbon. Grab a glass in the tasting room or schedule a tour to see how it's done. Tours cost $10, and a credit of $10 will be issued at the end of the tour toward any product purchased in the tasting room. Can't make it in person? Read about our visit to Laws' Church of Whiskey.
The mission at Rising Sun Distillery is simple: produce the finest handcrafted distilled spirits around and have fun doing it! They start with the best locally sourced produce and grains available (much of it organic), then prepare the spirits using pure, filtered Colorado water. As a craft distillery, Rising Sun's vodka, gin, whiskey, Colorado peach brandy and various liqueurs (coffee, lavender hibiscus and Colorado chile) are handmade from scratch in small batches to assure high quality and consistent flavor. Stop by the tasting room just south of Empower Field at Mile High (home of the Denver Broncos!) for a unique twist on a Shanghai (pineapple juice, lime, rice vinegar, chili, simple syrup and RSD Vodka), or get in on the fun with a tour ($10). Book your tour online. On the road? Rising Sun just opened their second tasting room in nearby Frisco.
Three Denver natives went on a heli-skiing trip to Alaska and came back inspired to create something new. Mythology sources grain and other ingredients locally to ensure the quality and consistency of each batch. Whiskey, vodka, gin, rum — take your pick! Mythology took home Westword's award for Best Colorado Distillery in 2019. Visit the Mythology Bar in the heart of Denver’s Lower Highlands (LoHi) to sample spirits, enjoy hand-crafted cocktails and take a tour of the distillery. Tours are $10 per person, and your admission fee can be applied toward the purchase of spirits or merchandise afterward. Book your tour online today.
Denver Distillery is the city's first distillery-pub, meaning you can enjoy creative in-house spirits like strawberry kiwi liqueur, apple pie moonshine and spiced rum, along with beer, wine, cider and spirits from other local makers. Enjoy a hand-crafted cocktail or a bite from Boulder's Tip Top Savory Pies. This micro-distillery is located inside a repurposed historic hotel on South Broadway and specializes in creating small-batch, grain-to-glass spirits from natural and local ingredients using traditional distillation techniques. Call (720) 381-3226 to schedule a free tour.
You'll find spirits from this family-owned (hence the name) distillery on cocktail menus across Denver. Whether your tastes run to whiskey, gin, vodka, fernet, absinthe, liqueur or aperitivo, Leopold Bros. doesn't disappoint. Locals especially love their unique flavored spirits, such as the Rocky Mountain Peach Whiskey, Rocky Mountain Blackberry Whiskey, Three Pins Alpine Herbal Liqueur and Frenchpress-Style American Coffee Liqueur. Visit their Northfield tasting room to try five spirited samples for $5, or schedule a distillery tour to taste up to 15 of their different spirits! Tours cost $20, and a credit of $10 will be issued at the end of the tour toward two bottles purchased in the tasting room. The other $10 will be donated to one of four local non-profit organizations. Want to up your home bartending skills? Leopold also hosts private and group cocktail classes. Schedule your tour or book a class online.
Featuring the perfect pairing of food and spirits, The Family Jones Spirit House in LoHi offers up craft cocktails made with their in-house spirits, as well as innovative dishes like Artichoke Fondue, Baked Stuffed Key West Shrimp and Beef Strog-a-gnocchi. And if the spirit moves you, why not peek behind the scenes? Tours cost $15 and include eight tastings. A credit of $10 will be issued at the end of the tour toward any one bottle purchased in the tasting room. Reserve your tour spot online. Like to make cocktails at home but never have the right ingredients? Order the distillery's seasonal Cocktail Kits online and you'll be a mixologist in no time!
Looking for a place to grab a drink in Denver's RiNo Art District? Look no further than Ironton Distillery & Crafthouse. Named after a lost — but not forgotten — mining town in southern Colorado and the 19th century ‘Ironton Addition’ of Denver that is now known as the River North Art District, Ironton distills the spirit of adventure into each bottle of their housemade, "farm-to-flask" whiskey, vodka, gin, aquavit, rum, absinthe and flavored liqueur. All of Ironton's spirits and bitters are made on-site and never blended or mass produced. Sip a cocktail or a glass of local beer or wine while you browse the Ironton Gallery or on the outdoor patio while noshing on housemade hummus or wood-fired pizza with crust made from spent grain from the distilling process.
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. This distillery's unique and award-winning products include Cane Vodka (made from the juice of Maui sugar cane before it's processed into sugar), Pepper Vodka (infused with New Mexico dried red chilies and black pepper from Indonesia), Double Diamond Whiskey (aged in both red wine casks and small new charred American oak casks), Ould Tom Gin (distilled from cane instead of grain and infused with11 botanicals) and Gold Cane Rum (created in the same barrels used for tequila). Plan a visit to their Englewood facility just south of Denver for tastings and tours.
Boulder's award-winning Boulder Spirits (formerly Vapor Distillery) makes its spirits in exceptionally small batches, using only the finest raw ingredients and traditional copper pot stills. In addition to standards such as vodka and a variety of whiskeys, try the Boulder Pink Gin, made with grapefruit zest and pink rose petals, or the Boulder Ginskey, which won a gold medal at the World Gin Awards for Best American Matured Gin. Visit the tasting room to enjoy a flight of the distillery's award-winning whiskeys or a cocktail (or two!), or schedule a free public tour or ticketed VIP tour, each of which concludes with a guided tasting.
Craft (pun intended) your own tour of some of Colorado's finest distilleries along the Colorado Spirits Trail. Or check the in-house tours offered at many of Denver's distilleries.