Colorado has all the perfect ingredients for distilleries. The state’s micro-climate allows for spirits to be fueled by local products. In addition to Colorado’s natural bounty, it also has a legislature that creates a friendly environment for distilleries.
If you are staying at Lodge by The Blue, but missed the Craft Spirits Festival, not to worry. We picked some of the finest distilleries that you can easily visit while you are in the Breckenridge area.
Vail’s premier distillery gets its name from the 10th Mountain Division. This infantry unit is still active today, but it also played an important role in the rugged Rockies during World War II. The mountain lifestyle is a big influence on the company’s spirits. The actual distillery is in Gypsum, but there is a tasting room in Vail. Don’t leave without trying the highly-awarded bourbon.
If you like your whiskey to taste like “a slice of toasted rye bread with honey drizzled on it,” then you will like Breckenridge Distillery’s blend of straight bourbon. Alongside the variety of whiskeys, the world’s highest distillery also offers gin, rum, bitters and flavored vodkas. If you feel like the caviar service pushed you over the edge, you can always use the free shuttle to return to Lodge by The Blue.
When you are in the mood for some serene sampling, head over to Dotsero. The Stoneyard Distillery should be easy enough to spot in this wide-open area. The most important elements in Stoneyard’s distilling process are Colorado sugar beets, a hand-built still and a kettle named “Twinkie.” Sample the “Cinnamon Fire,” “Lucky-Oh” and/or “Colorado Coffee.” Don’t forget to say hi to Pilot and Sebastian, the distillery dogs.
Right in the heart of Denver you will find Mile High Spirits. This popular hangout offers tours of the distillery, live music and patio games. Of course you can go straight for the drink menu, which consists of (flavored) bourbon, vodka, gin, tequila and rum. All of their cocktails feature house-made spirits.
Herbs, spices and botanicals are prominently featured in Golden Moon’s creations. Tasting some of the spirits at this distillery is like taking a history lesson. Especially the bitters, absinthe and liqueur, which have a vintage background. Don’t miss the Golden Moon Speakeasy, which is a 10-minute drive from the distillery. If you are interested in the more contemporary styles, try the whiskeys, grappa or Apple Jack.
You can also enjoy some fantastic craft cocktails and delicious fare at Lodge by The Blue’s very own Myla Rose Saloon!
What is your favorite Colorado concoction? Share your favorite drink spots with us.
Main image courtesy of Breckenridge Distillery.