Biz: Spirit Hound

December 3 2012, 12:20 PM

In this month's 5280 we take a look at Denver's burgeoning brewery scene, which shows no signs of slowing down. And now, in the hills beyond the Mile High City, there's a new distillery to add to Colorado's boozy landscape. This past weekend, Spirit Hound Distillers had its grand opening in Lyons. “We are making very small-batch gin, whiskey, and other spirits on our own homemade stills,” says Spirit Hound president Matthew Rooney, “and we’re using a wealth of local ingredients in our creations.”

Spirit Hound's gin is made with juniper berries freshly picked from trees on company-owned property near the St. Vrain river in Lyons. “The berries often go from tree to gin in just a couple of hours,” Rooney says, “and that gives our gin an incredibly fresh and ‘wild crafted’ character." (Spirit Hound's head distiller, Craig Englehorn, was the original brewer at Oskar Blues.) With a tasting room that seats about 40 people, Spirit Hound is in the process of installing a 15-barrel brewing system that it will eventually use to make whiskey. “Distillation has a long history in the U.S. and Colorado,” Rooney says. “We’re going to connect locals and visitors to that rich past, while we write a new chapter or two in that history.”

Image courtesy of Shutterstock.