Spirit Hound Distillers, the first distillery in Lyons, will celebrate its grand opening Saturday. The distillery is focusing on small-batch spirits like gin, vodka and whiskey -- made in homemade stills and using a variety of local ingredients. The opening party will feature Spirit Hound spirits as well a distillery tour, cocktails, food trucks and live music.
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Spirit Hound was founded by former Oskar Blues brewer Craig Englehorn and former director of sales Wayne Anderson, along with Neil Sullivan, founder of St. Vrain Market, and Mathew Rooney, founder of two veterinary centers. "Distillation has a long history in the U.S. and Colorado," says Rooney, president of Spirit Hound. "We're going to connect locals and visitors to that rich past, while we write a new chapter or two in that history."
The debut spirit is an 84-proof gin infused with local, fresh-picked juniper berries. It's produced in a still designed and built by Englehorn, using a method Spirit Hound calls "gin basket," which consists of suspending the flavoring botanicals in a wire mesh above the still. "With this method the gin picks up far more aromatics and bright flavors from our blend of botanicals," Englehorn says.
They also produce vodka and a coffee liquor. They will soon be producing whiskey brewed with Colorado grain and fermented in six 20-barrel fermenters, then distilled in a copper still also designed and built by Englehorn. Spirit Hound products are already available at some Denver and Boulder bars and liquor stores.
The distillery tasting room provides seating for 40 guests, a bar with cocktails made with its products, and bottles for purchase.
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The grand opening party will start at 11 a.m. Saturday, December 1, and will continue all day. The distillery is located on 4196 Ute Highway (State Road 66), one mile east of downtown Lyons. For more information and a list of retailers, visit the Spirit Hound website.