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Two years ago, when local entrepreneur Stephanie Snyder began looking to transition from the healthcare industry to that of craft distilling, she didn’t have to search far for a source of expertise—it was blinking back at her from across the kitchen table. She tapped her brother-in-law, an organic chemist by trade, to design spirit recipes down to the molecule. Her mother-in-law signed on to manage the back-end of the business as primary owner. And her father-in-law, a mechanical engineer, orchestrated the design of the facility and the procurement of the necessary equipment. Even Snyder’s husband decided to step down as CEO of their pharmaceutical company to direct more of his attention to the family’s passion project. The result? The newly opened 12 Point Distillery in Lafayette.
The first spirit house in east Boulder County, 12 Point celebrated its grand opening the first weekend in June. And when you walk through the door, it’s immediately clear that this family-run distillery is also family oriented. Children are welcome to play games in the rustic tasting room while parents sip cocktails, and the large outside patio offers plenty of lounging space for yorkies and labradors alike. Food trucks idle along the edge of the parking lot at 4 p.m. on weekend evenings; inside, the oxidized-copper-tipped wood bar beckons patrons to cozy up and watch the mixologists at work.
Of course, it’s the spirits that reveal 12 Point’s true north. If you’re hankering for a serving of fruit, start with a taste of 12 Point’s blackberry vodka which utilizes an entire pound of berries per bottle. For those veering in the direction of liqueur, the coffee-flavored Kona Black is the fledgeling distillery’s best-selling bottle; other options include cinnamon, amaretto, and orange liqueurs, as well as a vodka and lavender-forward gin.
After a flight of straight spirits, you’ll want to graduate to 12 Point’s cocktail list. The Rosey Cucumber combines 12 Point’s lavender gin with a splash of lime juice, muddled cucumber, rosemary, and agave nectar in a refreshingly sweet cocktail—it also tastes great made with the vodka.
In the coming months, the 12 Point family hopes to add a spiced rum and a peppermint schnapps to the lineup, with whiskey coming later.
Snyder, for her part, is thrilled with 12 Point’s first few weeks in business. Grinning beneath her black ball cap emblazoned with the 12 Point logo—a set of 12-pointed antlers cupping a silhouette of the Rockies—she says the reaction from other distilleries and the city of Lafayette has blown her away. Even in Colorado’s growing spirits industry, she doesn’t feel pressure from the competition. “It’s like a unified front to raise spirits,” she says. Literally and figuratively.
If you go: 12 Point Distillery is open from Wednesday through Friday from 3 p.m. to close, Saturday from 1 p.m. to close, and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.
802 S. Public Road, Suite E, Lafayette, 303-284-3683