We’re pleased to announce the date for the 3rd Colorado Distillers Festival. Come to the Rackhouse Pub on Sunday, September 8, 2013 from 1-5pm. We are getting an early start on everything. No distilleries lined up yet, but take a look to see who was in attendance last year. We are also going to have seminars hosted by thought leaders in the Colorado Distillery scene in the Rackhouse’s Whiskey Lounge, and they’re also TBD.
Tickets are available now, and if you buy your ticket before July 1, you can get one for $40. From July 1 – September 7 tickets will be $45, with tickets at the door being $50 (if any are left).
Have any questions? Are you a distillery who wants to participate? Shoot us a message.
We’ve got more than 15 distilleries signed up to pour their Colorado-produced spirits at the 2012 Colorado Distillers Festival. We sent out a few questions to the distilleries and Downslope Distilling was kind enough to respond with some answers. Learn more about who they are and why they started their distillery.
What inspired you to start your distillery?
Our primary motivation was a passion for spirits and the convergence of the right people. I came to this thru teaching fermentation. I sold brewing and wine making supplies and taught advanced brewing at Arapahoe Community College. At the same time, Mitch had become interested in distillation and was doing extensive independent research. When we found we had an opportunity to combine our expertise to produce great spirits we decided to give it a shot.
Tell us about your still.
We have several stills that are best at producing particular products. Our primary still is a double diamond head true and proper potstill. It was designed by Mitch and the manufacturer- Colonel Vaughn Wilson at Copper Moonshine stills. It is heated with an internal steam coil, looks like a hookah from Alice in Wonderland and produces superior spirits. All of our products take a pass thru the hookah on there way to their final destination. The Double Diamond Whiskey goes thru this still exclusively and is distilled in the manner of a Scotch.
What cocktails do you think go best with your products?
There are eleven Downslope products and different ones show off different ingredients. Though a mixologist can have a blast with our products, we usually recommend more simple combinations. Two of our favorites are the Hot Dog- a pink grapefruit greyhound with Pepper Vodka. A Double Diamond Old fashioned with the Double Diamond Whiskey and a drink we like to call ‘Who the F*&% is Arnold Palmer’ with the Spiced Rum. We have hundreds of cocktail suggestions for all of the products as a result of our enthusiasm for the development process.
Do you have advice for people interested in starting their own distillery?
We do have advice for aspiring distillers and in fact we teach a class for those wanting learn the craft. The class is offered at the distillery once a month and we have had students from Colorado and from all over the country and even international students. There are about a half dozen distilleries that became a reality after the principals took the class. We give the class because we believe that any beverage calling itself a craft spirit should be well done and we need to do our part to see that that happens. The advice I give most frequently to aspirants is that if you want to get rich quick, buy a car wash: If you have a passion for the complexity of the craft of distilling and the delight it brings others, do your homework and don’t forget to have fun.
What’s so great about being a part of the Colorado Distillers Guild?
We are very proud of our association with the Colorado Distillers Guild and have a healthy respect for all of the distilleries that make product in Colorado. They are all extremely cool to hang out with and we are very lucky to be associated with such an open and enthusiastic group. In short, there is not a Colorado producer we do not work well with and look forward to new ones that will undoubtedly be surfacing as craft spirits become more and more pertinent.
The Colorado Distillers Festival is this coming Sunday, and we are starting to get really excited! Justin Lloyd of Star Bar in Downtown Denver is our 2:15pm seminar presenter. Aside from running the coolest bar in LoDo, Justin is an accomplished maker of beer cocktails. Which is also the topic of Justin’s seminar (see the other seminars & schedule). We caught up with him last week to chat about – and taste – a favorite beer cocktail of Justin’s.