Mythology Distillery has been lurking in the shadows of LoHi for a while now, but it's not just a tasty-sounding fable. Started by three friends who adore traveling, Mythology will begin pouring handcrafted booze, cocktails and a few local beers and serving global street food on August 24, 2018, at 3622 Tejon Street.
"We came up with the idea on a ski trip in Alaska, and one thing led to the next," says Scott Yeates, one of the three Colorado natives who own the venture; the others are Scott Burg and Mike Zakhem. "I like the craft side of the breweries, and this is similar, but with spirits."
Head distiller Scott Coburn came on board after Yeates met him through a friend last September. Coburn, formerly of High West Distillery in Park City, Utah, got quizzed by Yeates on how to hire a distiller for Mythology. Coburn gave a lot of advice and then followed up with his résumé.
"He flew out, we saw a Rockies Game, and decided it was a good fit," says Yeates, who felt he found a kindred spirit to make his spirits.
"I wanted to branch out and create my own spirit," says Coburn, who, though he admires and respects High West, got burned out making the same brown liquors every day. "I think a lot of big distilleries are stuck in tradition, but with micro-distilleries, you can really play with the [the spirits]."
As at many distilleries, vodka will be the first product ready to taste. But unlike most vodkas, this one is made with Colorado-grown rye from Root Shoot Malting, run by Todd and Steve Olander of Olander Farms. There will also be a whiskey blend available, which uses two- to three-year-aged MGP rye as a base. Eventually the lineup will expand to rum and a gin that uses ingredients sourced from Denver Botanic Gardens.
For bottle design, each product's label is decorated with a spirit animal matched with a person, with back labels telling a story about the pair. The labels, designed by Moxie Sozo in Boulder, include "Chatter Wolf," matched with a lady desperado’s face on the vodka, and "Needle Pig," paired with a hairy trapper on the mountain gin.
"Everything has a story to it, be that old or Greek or our new mythology," says Yeates, about why his venture is branded Mythology Distillery. "It's created by adventure and new steps in life."
Hopefully those steps will lead neighbors to the distillery, since the team chose the area because it's so walkable. Coburn and Yeates plan to be on hand to talk to guests and give tours, whether they walked over from nearby or are visiting from across town.
"We want to educate customers on the craft and be available to answer questions," says Coburn. "We are passionate, and we want others to catch that passion."
Yeates has been working for more than a year on the space, which is located in the Barrel Lofts building (where Chicken Rebel is also slated to open). The venue features bits and pieces from the owners' travels: Moroccan tile lining the bar; a massive table made from an antique Indian door built big enough for elephants; and American oak whiskey barrel staves lining one wall. Behind the bar, guests can see the sparkling copper still, custom-made by Vendome Copper & Brass Works in Louisville, Kentucky.
The food program will evolve with the venue, but Yeates says the idea is to serve ever-changing global street food inspired by Yeates's travels, including bites from South America and classic Chinese market grub.
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Cocktails will be made with Mythology spirits as well as other tipples from around the world. There will be Colorado beer on two taps as well. In the future, says Yeates, they hope to collaborate on beverages with breweries and wineries in the area, with the specific goal of exploring the unknown.
"We have created something that embraces creativity and adventure," says Yeates. "It's our new mythology."