Booze

Leopold Bros. reveals plans for expansion, a tasting room and a new spirit

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Todd also notes that the landscaping assignment belongs to Bob, his father and a Harvard grad architect, who considers this his new pet project. "I'm so excited to do this with my dad. He's absolutely beaming, and so am I. We all are." And his mom will have a "nice office to do the books," he says.

But Todd may be most energized (and animated) by the fact that the plant will incorporate traditional floor malting, which originated in Great Britain in the nineteenth century, and to explain how it works, he grabs a pen and starts doodling on a Steuben's menu, drawing arrows, diagrams and calculations to help me understand exactly what floor malting is. "It's making malt on-site," he tells me."Think of 2,000 pounds of malt, soaking it for four days in water and then spreading it out on the floor over 1,000 square feet." It then germinates, sprouts rootlets and then someone -- probably Todd -- pulls a rake through to to stop the rootlets from growing together. "Malting and mashing go hand-and-hand," he notes, divulging that the goal is to try and sell the surplus to other breweries.

And while there are plenty of big distilleries that would likely offer the Leopold Brothers gazillions of dollars to purchase their sustainable, environmentally-conscious small-batch distillery, Todd says that he'll never sell. Ever. "This is a family-run operation, and it always will be. We have absolutely no interest in money -- we look at it as capital, to build things, but money isn't our path. We got into making spirits because we love it," he stresses."Things are going so well for us -- we have so much fun -- why would we ever want to sell our business?"

Selling -- and distilling -- spirits, however, is a whole different matter, and the Leopold Brothers are now up to sixteen total, with another one on the way. And it's not vokda, it's not gin, and it's not whiskey. And for now, anyway, we're under oath to keep it under wraps -- but we can tell you that it'll be released this year, and you'll be able to sip it the bar and tasting room that the brothers plan to unleash next year, when they unveil the new plant.

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Lori Midson
Contact: Lori Midson