After a day of kayaking or hiking through the mountains of Salida, head over to Wood’s High Mountain Distillery in downtown on 1st Street.
This owner-operated distillery gives special attention to out-of-town visitors and weekend tourists through mixed drinks and personal tours of the site. The 48-year-old distiller shows off his production space in the back of the old auto body shop with single-man kayaks, bikes and paddle boards lined up in a haphazard way.
PT Wood, owner, head distiller and long-time Salida resident, wanted to make something he loves to drink to share with his friends and family.
“I’m making what I drink,” he said during the tour. “What I want to drink is in my glass.”
- Treeline Gin: As the flagship liquor, this gin is the ideal ingredient for an amazing martini.
- Treeline Barrel Rested Gin: Aged in charred American Oak barrels, this complex gin can be served neat or part of a classic Negroni.
- Tenderfoot Whiskey: The single-malt whiskey is bottled at 45 percent (90 proof).
Before completing a year in Salida, this distillery received a silver medal for its Treeline Barrel Rested Gin at the American Distilling Institute 7th Annual Judging of Artisan American Spirits.
Annual Colorado Distilleries Festival at Denver’s Rackhouse Pub in September www.coloradodistillersfestival.com
Breckenridge Craft Spirits Festival in October www.gobreck.com/events/community-events/spirits-festival
Designed to grab the attention of aficionados of craft distilleries, Wood’s is ideal for those curious about the Salida distillery. Mixed drinks are offered to anyone, who can’t drink it neat.
The creation of a distillery in Salida started as a dream on trip with friends to the Grand Canyon back in 1996. One of Woods’ buddies brought 16 bottles of whiskey, attempting to drink one bottle each day on vacation. This vacation marked the beginning of a dream.
The dream evolved into reality as the distillery launched its downtown site back in March 2013. Before the grand opening, behind-the-scenes planning were in the works of bringing the first distillery into Salida.
Wood applied for federal approval through the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. His approval was finalized in November 2012, an important license producing and bottling could begin at the retail site. He received the 38th distillery license in Colorado.
Casual describes the atmosphere inside this building with open space for whiskey and bourbon aficionados to gather or socialize with other weekend visitors or international guests.
Tours are often scheduled so call ahead. Impromptu tours are offered if the bar isn’t too busy. After listening to Wood share his story of the distillery beginnings, another tour highlight is the old copper and iron Scmidt & Sons German still dated to the 1880s sitting near the entrance of the production area. This still survived World War II and Prohibition years, according to Wood.
While mixed drinks will range up to $10 a glass, a bottle to take home can cost up to $38 per bottle.
If you can’t make it to Salida, these bottles are sold in these following areas:
- Buena Vista
- Canon City
Wood’s High Mountain Distillery
144 W. 1st Street
Salida, CO 81201
Tip #1: Schedule a tour. It’s a great way to learn the inner workings of the distillery.
Tip #2: Try one of the mixed drinks offered on the drink menu.
Tip 3#: Ask the bartender for their favorite drink and provide personal preference. His suggestion might surprise you.
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