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Local hooch drinkers, rejoice: Your options just grew by two. Mythology Distillery and Ironton Distillery & Craft House, located in LoHi and RiNo respectively, are, ahem, proof that the Front Range’s craft spirits boom is still kicking. Whether you’re looking to sip a new style of gin in an art-bedecked urban garden or drink a fanciful cocktail at a travel-inspired hangout, here’s a rundown on what to expect at Denver’s two newest distilleries.
Opened: August 25
Vibe: Artsy urban oasis
Booze: Vodka, genever, gin, aquavit, amaro, flavored liqueurs
Go For: A five-spirit tasting flight on a gorgeously crafted wooden tasting board
Co-owners Kallyn Peterson and Robbie Adams opened Ironton Distillery & Craft House with a larger-than-usual selection of spirits to quench RiNo’s thirst. Adams has a background in the craft beer industry, and he’s brought some of those sensibilities to Ironton. “We are more tasting-room-forward than outside-sales-focused like some other distilleries,” Adams says. “We want to have a lot of variety of spirits and liquors so that we can be versatile with our menu.”
Head distiller Laura Moore (previously of Stranahan’s Colorado Whiskey) crafts vodka, genever-style gin (a Dutch-inspired spirit made from malted barley), a gin made with fresh herbs from Ironton’s garden, a rye aquavit, amaro, and orange, coffee, ginger, mint, and cacao liqueurs. Ironton also serves wine and beer, including Ironmoon, a blueberry Berliner Weisse brewed by neighboring Blue Moon Brewery. An old-world-style rum is slated to be released later this fall, and whiskey is also on the agenda.
Ironton’s small garden produces lavender, sage, rosemary, basil, mint, and peppers for bartenders to incorporate into the tasting room’s cocktails. Try the Garden Variety, made with aquavit, fresh veggies, basil oil, and a dried vegetable powder rim. “Our style is ‘less is more’—simple ingredients, many from our garden, to complement the spirits,” Adams says.
Located in the former Ironton Studio & Gallery in RiNo, the space boasts high ceilings and an expansive bar. The outdoor garden area features communal tables as well as more intimate, lounge-y seating arrangements, a burbling fountain, large metal sculptures, and reclaimed ski lift chair swings.
3636 Chestnut Pl., 720-532-0937
Opened: August 25
Vibe: Laid back and welcoming
Booze: Rye vodka, blended American whiskey; gin is forthcoming, as is silver rum
Go For: The Jabber-Ruski cocktail (vodka, pamplemousse grapefruit liqueur, agave, lime, rhubarb bitters, chili tincture, ruby port float, black salt rim)
Four friends (three Scotts and a Mike) concocted the idea for Mythology during a heli-skiing trip in Alaska, so it’s no surprise that the space reflects their adventurous spirits. Moroccan tiles adorn the bar; a door from India serves as a table; and books and masks collected during their travels decorate the walls. Tucked into the Barrell Lofts on Tejon Street between 36th and 37th avenues, Mythology Distillery’s travel-inspired tasting room is equally appropriate for meeting up with friends or for dashing off emails on your laptop.
“There’s a lot of our personality and our history and our friendship in everything you see in this space,” says co-owner Mike Zakhem. “We’re going to continue to expand the whole theme in the space and it will evolve as we go to different places and collect different things.”
How does a brand new distillery already have aged whiskey ready to pour, you ask? Head Distiller Scott Coburn, formerly of High West Distillery in Park City, Utah, is sourcing two bourbons and a rye from MPG of Indiana, which he blends to his own specifications for Mythology’s Hell Bear American Whiskey. For those who don’t care for the hard stuff, Mythology also stocks several Station 26 brews on tap, and a few wines are also available.
Mythology Distilling is already making plans for collaborations, such as a whiskey aged in wine barrels from a vineyard in the Willamette Valley. And it’s establishing Colorado connections by utilizing grains from Olander Farms in Loveland and partnering with the Denver Botanic Gardens, which will cultivate some of the botanicals for the forthcoming gin.
3622 Tejon St., 720-458-0501