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Made in Colorado

Coors isn’t the only booze to rely on pristine Rocky Mountain water. Meet Loveland’s Spring44.

In an area only accessible by four-wheel-drive vehicles, a small spring in the canyons outside of Fort Collins is helping fuel Colorado’s craft distilling boom. And no, we’re not talking about the big boys like Stranahan’s Colorado Whiskey or Leopold Bros. Last month, Spring44 began producing its first bottles of premium vodka and gin out of a new distillery in Loveland, and it’s already expanded distribution to New York and New Jersey. Capable of churning out three million bottles a year (in comparison, vodka giant Absolut produces around 600,000 bottles per day), Spring44 is hoping to chip away at a $3 billion market that’s populated, primarily, by imports. Says founder and CEO Jeff Lindauer: “I want to recruit people to a new American vodka revolution.”

It began 40 years ago when Lindauer’s father bought some property surrounded by national forest. As a boy, Lindauer would hike to the nearby spring to drink the water. After a friend had a taste three years ago, he persuaded Lindauer to get a sample tested. The result: an overall superior rating. So Spring44 was born. Of the three current products—gin, vodka, and honey vodka—our favorite is the honey version; the smooth mouthfeel and not-too-sweet flavor makes it a perfect cocktail mixer.

Do it Yourself

Make master mixologist Sean Kenyon’s Divine 44—with Spring44 Honey Vodka—at home.

  • 2 ½ ounces Spring44 Honey Vodka
  • ½ ounce Grand Marnier
  • 2 dashes Angostura bitters
  • Orange peel

Stir all ingredients with ice and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Twist orange peel over the cocktail. Garnish.

Wash Up

Denver-based LifeSoap Company, the brainchild of Colorado natives Aaron Madonna and Juwon Melvin, makes three-packs of organic soap bars—dubbed “Boxes of Joy”—with tantalizing scents: Love (sage, spearmint, and lemongrass), Peace (honey, shea butter, and oatmeal), and Sol (tangerine, lemon, orange peel, and lavender).

Perhaps the best part: Ninety percent of the company’s net profits help the nonprofit H20 For Life bring clean water to communities in South America, Africa, and Central America. For the gift that keeps on giving, sign up your friend—or Mom (thank us later)—to receive a new box each month for $20 per shipment. —Betsy Defnet

This article was originally published in 5280 December 2011.
Daliah Singer
Daliah Singer
Daliah Singer is an award-winning writer and editor based in Denver. You can find more of her work at

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Made in Colorado

Do you get giddy when the mailman delivers your REI catalog? Does your mouth water at the sight of a shiny new snowboard? Do you rejoice at finding the perfect pair of hiking socks? Is a new mountain bike better than a new SUV? OK, you’re a gear head. Now, when you hear the letters “ABC,” do you automatically think “Always Buy Colorado”? Well, then, you’re a “Made in Colorado” gear head and we’ve assembled this list just for you.

With products from more than 20 companies, our guide features companies based in Colorado towns from the Front Range (Denver, Boulder, Golden­) to the Western Slope (Grand Junction, Montrose, Paonia) and plenty of other places where you might not have guessed they’d be churning out innovative, top-of-the-line gear.

And speaking of gear, we’ve covered the gamut. You can check off everyone on your holiday shopping list with gifts from socks, hats, and helmets to fly rods, snowboards, bikes, snowshoes, and more. By Allison McCready Melun