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| Booze |

New York Times pours on the love for Colorado distilleries

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Colorado's distilleries will get their due in the New York Times travel magazine on Sunday. And the piece, in "Blithe Spirits," has already been posted on the web.

The article celebrates this state's burgeoning spirits scene, describing distilleries ranging from the Boulder Distillery to Peach Street Distillers to Leopold Brothers, which moved here from Michigan in 2007, to Downslope Distilling, Roundhouse Spirits, Distillery 291 and Stranahan's Colorado Whiskey, which was purchased by Proximo last year.

"We're not competing with each other," Rob Masters, maker of Rob's Mountain Gin and the president of the Colorado Distillers Guild, told the Times. "We're competing against the big guys." In fact, Masters makes his gin at the Boulder Distillery.

"The state's lenient laws allowing distilleries to self-distribute, combined with a controversial ordinance that mostly bans supermarkets and convenience stores from selling liquor or full-strength beer, are one reason that the number of craft spirit makers in Colorado has grown from two in 2004 to more than 20 at last count," the Times reports. "The Rockies' history of beer brewing is another: both whiskey and beer start out with a mash.

"Yet despite the boom, the majority of the newcomers are microdistillers that are content to remain small, selling only to bars and stores in Colorado, or in two or three states at most, and selling only a few thousand bottles a year. Their mission is in essence part of the larger nationwide sweep toward the preservation of American craft and the nostalgia for an agrarian past...."

In addition to a sampling of the state's 22 (the current count), the Times lists five bars noted for their devotion to cocktails featuring Colorado spirits:

Bitter Bar, with master mixer Mark Stoddard.

Williams & Graham, which opens today with Sean Kenyon behind the bar.

Green Russell, Frank Bonanno's speakeasy in Larimer Square.

Mateo, in Boulder.

Root Down, Justin Cucci's first Denver restaurant.

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