After two months of moving - and twelve- to fifteen-hour work days - Jess Graber, Jake Norris and the rest of the Stranahan's Colorado Whiskey crew are just about up and running in their new digs inside the former Heavenly Daze Brewery at 200 South Kalamath Street.
And they've leased out the restaurant space on the ground floor of the building to Eric Warner, former president of the Flying Dog Brewery and current owner of the Barking Goat Tavern, which opened at 363 Village Square Lane in Castle Rock in March.
Warner couldn't be reached to comment on what he plans to open inside the Stranahan's building -- or when he plans to open it -- but we'll update you once we find out.
Stranahan's bought the unusual, and long-vacant 60,000-square-foot building on May 6 for $3.05 million. Eventually, the micro-distillery plans to triple its production from six barrels of whiskey a day to eighteen and expand its distribution channels to be able to sell it all, says Graber, the owner and co-founder of Stranahan's, which had been at 2405 Blake Street since 2004.
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Part of the reason Stranahan's selected the building was because it came with a distillery already built in, as well as heating, cooling and other systems that Stranahan's will be able to use, Graber says. But the company is still figuring out these systems. "It was kind of like starting over. Once we get dialed in, we will start cranking it out within the next two to three weeks," he adds.
Stranahan's also plans to paint the building and make it look pretty. After that, it will also start offering tours again.
Part of the money for the building will come from a $200,000 economic development loan from the city's Office of Economic Development, which has targeted the neighborhood around Stranahan's for business redevelopment.
"We are days away from closing on that loan," says office spokesman Derek Woodbury. "We are really excited about the job growth and about reactivating a commercial property that has been mostly vacant for about ten years."