The highest distillery in Colorado selected Breckenridge as its place to brew for the water.
“It’s all about the water. About half of a bottle of any spirit is water, so we found the best source available–Rocky Mountain snow melt.” said Maya Berthoud, director of operations for Breckenridge Distillery. Berthoud adds the water is mineral rich with an abundance of rich flavor, infusing character to the whiskeys.
Colorado has long been recognized as havens for beer lovers and brewers. Only in recent years has that love of fine craft alcohol transferred to the art of distilling spirits.
However, Breckenridge Distillery shares its competitor is not in Colorado. They compete with Pappy Van Winkle, a Louisville, Ky.-based distiller, according to Berthoud.
Products sold every year
Breckenridge Distillery sells about 100 bottles out of the tasting rooms per day at peak times of the year during the winter and key summer months. “This number varies greatly as we are a destination town and tourism comes and goes,” Berthoud said. “As for national sales, I’d say we are on track to sell around 20K cases this year.”
The awards and honors fill up their website but here are the highlights:
- Breckenridge Bourbon: Rated one of the top 3 Bourbons in the World,
- Gold Medal–International Wine and Spirits Comp, 2011.
- Gold Medal-Micro Liquor Awards, 2012.
- Chairman’s Trophy Finalist: 96 points (extraordinary, ultimate recommendation)–Ultimate Spirits Championship, 2012.
- International Double Gold Medal-DISC, 2012.
- Breckenridge Vodka: Platinum Winner–SIP Awards, 2012.
- Gold Medal- MicroLiquor Spirit Awards, 2012.
- Chairman’s Trophy Finalist: 91 points (extraordinary, ultimate recommendation)–Ultimate Spirits Championship, 2012.
- World Spirits Competition Medal Winner–New York and San Francisco, 2011,2012.
Breckenridge Distillery sponsors an annual event called Still on the Hill. Last year, 700 attendees showed up. Scheduled in October, the distillery is hosting its 4th craft distiller’s festival in the mountain resort.
Geared for the affluent middle-aged male customers, Berthoud shares the distillery also targets the 20-something crowd, too. “Maybe it’s that those middle agers want to be young again, and that’s the appeal to our brand, as we are pretty hip with our marketing,” she said.
Breckenridge Distillery is part of the growing craft distillery industry, using local products such as the water from the mountain resort town. American Distilling Institute,with 400 members, predicts distilleries are growing 25 percent each year. This organization expects its membership to grow to 800 by 2015.
The tours are casual and allows visitors to ask a lot of questions to learn about its distillery. The tasting room, located on Main Street, is packed with international tourists and local visitors. However, since the distillery is off the beaten path, tours can be as intimate as a group of two to as large as 20 people during the peak winter months. Check the website for tour times.
- Breckenridge Bourbon $40 to $44,
- Breckenridge Bitters $29
- Breckenridge Vodka $27
Already in hundreds of liquor stores, bars, and restaurants in Colorado, Breckenridge Distillery distributes in 35 states. By the end of 2013, the distillery will distribute in 45 states. Internationally, the distillery’s products are available online in England through Master or Malt, which ships worldwide.
Visit its website for locations near you. It has a “Find our Products” link where people can enter their address and the nearest store to them that carries the hooch pops up.
1025 Airport Road
(970)547 WSKY (9759)
137 S. Main Street
Tip 1: Keep an open mind and sample everything the tour guide offers during the tour. You might find something you did not know before. The tour guides are amazing – tip them well!
Tip 2: Chocolate lovers take a look at their products made in Texas in both bourbon and vodka called Choc Liquer.
Tip 3: Interested in obtaining a free bottle, sign up for the distillery’s bottling crew at the end of the tour. If selected, volunteers will commit to fours hours for the bottling process at the distillery’s schedule.
Tip 4: If you’re new to hard liquor, splash a bit of water in your glass of bourbon to open up the flavors. This will allow your palate to actually taste the characters without feeling affronted.
Tip 5: Breckenridge Distillery is hosting a Practical Distillation and Distillery Start-Up Workshop here at the distillery Nov. 3-8, taught by our Master Distiller, Jordan Via. Anyone interested can check out the info page on its website: www.breckenridgedistillery.com/hooch/classes/
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