| Booze |

Oskar Blues will open Lyons Soul Distillery

Keep Westword Free
I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Denver and help keep the future of Westword free.

Oskar Blues has expanded significantly since founder Dale Ketechis first started brewing in Longmont fifteen years ago -- and his decision to can his beers in 2002 made a big mark on the craft brewing industry.

This year, the brewery will embark on a new venture that it hopes will have a similar impact: Ketechis and company are launching Lyons Soul Distillery in the same barn where the company started canning its beers ten years ago.

"It's really in the beginning phases," spokesman Chad Melis emphasizes. "Federal licensing is in process. We ordered five stills so we can experiment and do some different things. Some of those should land fairly soon; one won't be here for at least a year."

As soon as the first stills land, though, founder Dave Ketechis and his cohorts will begin trying different recipes, which Melis promises will be creative. "We're looking forward to doing some different things," he says. "It will be similar to what we do with small batch beers."

Plans have already been drawn up for a whiskey -- although that will have to age for a couple of years before the public sees it -- and a spirit made from a local organic agave that won't "necessarily be tequila," says Melis. "The agave comes from a place right down the street from us in Lyons. I don't know that anyone has done this yet; we're really trying to do different things."

Lyons Soul spirits will also feature unique packaging. "We're working with Ball to release a resealable can," Melis explains. "We want to change the spirits world the same way we changed the craft beer world." How big those cans will be, however, Melis can't say; that's a detail that's still being ironed out.

Regardless, Oskar Blues says it'll start distilling as soon as the paperwork is cleared, which should be sometime this summer. "It's a good way to celebrate ten years of canning beers," says Melis. "We're really excited to try something new."

Keep Westword Free... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Denver with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.


Join the Westword community and help support independent local journalism in Denver.


Join the Westword community and help support independent local journalism in Denver.