There are many reasons to get excited about the Source, the Ferry Building-esque project slated to open in RiNo in May: Crooked Stave has signed on, as has the stellar Boxcar Coffee Roasters, and now there's big news that Caprock will open both a bar and a showroom.
Floral and clean, Caprock is the best gin I've ever tasted. For those who haven't heard of or haven't sipped this top-notch, organic spirit (Hotchkiss distillers Lance and Anna Hanson, pictured, left, also make lovely organic vodka and brandies), that's likely because the small-batch swill is in short supply. When I find a bottle of the gin, I buy it. When that bottle goes dry and I can't locate another, I go without. (I'm not the only one championing the Hansons, who distill under the Peak Spirits label: Earlier this year, Lance nabbed a James Beard Foundation semifinalist for Outstanding Wine and Spirits Professional, the gin and vodka earned Good Food Awards, and the gin won a Washington.)
The genesis for having a Denver presence began several years ago. "We're out in the middle of nowhere," Lance says, referencing his 72-acre Jack Rabbit Hill Farm, where the distillery (pictured, right) is located. "But we'll get people who are on a mission and they'll find us. Over four to five years, we would get repeat visitors from the Denver-Boulder area. We realized that what we're doing up here—the farm, the story, the products—is resonating with people."
And that narrative is what the Hansons intend to bring to the Source. "We want to give people the opportunity to share and to experience a piece of what we do on the [biodynamic] farm," Lance says. "We want people to understand why we do it, and why we think it's important." So, while the showroom will be giant step up from the Hotchkiss "tasting room" (aka the couple's porch in the summer and their kitchen in the winter), it won't be all flash and polish: It'll remain true to the niche company's tightly focused message.
Of course, presence at the Source will force changes in supply. "Our mission and intent is to grow," Lance says. "But we're not interested in carpet bombing the market. We don't want to compromise the way we do things here. The scaling up that we do will be incremental."
—Images via Stephen Smith
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