Spirit Hound Distillers
Spirit Hound Distillers is Lyons, Colorado’s first distillery and the latest entry in Colorado’s micro-distilling movement, Spirit Hound is located in the former location of Red Hill Motorcycle Werx at 4196 Ute Highway(State Road 66), 1 mile east of downtown Lyons.
The all-day grand opening celebration featured Spirit Hound spirits, cocktails, distillery tours, live music and food from local food trucks.
Distillation has a long history in the US and Colorado,” says Spirit Hound president Matthew Rooney. “We’re going to connect locals and visitors to that rich past, while we write a new chapter or two in that history.”
The company’s focus and methods are unique. “We are making very small-batch gin, whisky and other spirits on our own homemade stills,” Rooney says proudly, “and we’re using a wealth of local ingredients in our creations.”
The Spirit Hound tasting room sports a rustic feel, seating for 40, bar and cocktail service featuring the distillery’s products, and bottles of spirits for purchase.
Spirit Hound’s debut spirit is a gin produced on a small still designed and hand built by Spirit Hound distiller Craig Engelhorn. The still slowly distills about 13 gallons of grain-neutral spirit, producing about a gallon of gin per hour.
Spirit Hound uses a unique “gin basket” method for making its gin. Instead of immersing flavoring botanicals in a neutral spirit prior to distillation, Engelhorn suspends his signature mix of botanicals in a wire mesh basket at the top of the still. The vaporized spirit passes through the botanicals and extracts their flavors. “With this method,” Engelhorn says, “the gin picks up far more aromatics and bright flavors from our blend of botanicals.” That mix of botanicals centers around fresh-picked, locally grown juniper berries. The berries are picked by Spirit Hound staff and local volunteers from trees on company owned land that borders the St. Vrain River running through Lyons. “The berries often go from tree to gin in just a couple of hours,” Rooney says, “and that gives our gin an incredibly fresh and ‘wild crafted’ character. It’s a spirit loaded with terroir that literally captures the flavor of Lyons.” “Our gin has less of the pine and resin aromas of traditional gin,” Engelhorn says. “It has very floral aromatics of juniper that are light and fresh. Along with notes of fennel, anise and citrus.” Spirit Hound Gin is 84 proof.
Spirit Hounds also bottles its own vodka, and produces a popular liqueur — Richardo’s Decaf Coffee Liquor — under license for Lyons resident Richard England.
The gin, vodka and coffee liqueur are now appearing at bars and retailers in Boulder and Denver.
The Spirit Hound founders make up an A-list of Lyons business and beer heavies. Rooney is a veterinarian, animal surgeon and founder of Aspen Meadow Veterinary Specialists (in Longmont, CO) and Alpenglow Veterinary Specialty & Emergency Medical Center (in Boulder.) Vice president Neil Sullivan is the founder of the new St. Vrain Market in Lyons, a gourmet market housed in an 1890 building he refurbished at 455 Main Street. Spirit Hound sales director Wayne Anderson helped launch the microcanning effort of Oskar Blues Brewery & Pub. He served as the brewery’s director of sales from its start in 2002 through 2009. Engelhorn was the original brewer for Oskar Blues from 1998 to 2002, he helped transform the restaurant into a brewpub and created its first beers.
Spirit Hound is now installing a 15-barrel brewing system that it will use to make its own whisky. The “distiller’s wash” for the whisky will be brewed with Colorado malt and will ferment in six 20-barrel fermenters now in place at the facility. The whisky will be distilled on a copper whisky still that Engelhorn also designed and built. The still is 11’ tall and holds 150 gallons in its steam-fired boiler.
For more information, samples, tours and interviews contact Spirit Hound Distillers at 303-823-5696 or spirithounds.com
Spirit Hound Distillers Products
Spirit Hound Whisky
Silver Medal Winner!
Only available in the Tasting Room.
Spirit Hound Gin
Quite possibly the smoothest and most unique Gin out there, Spirit Hound Gin is made from only the finest locally sourced botanicals. Juniper berries, anise, fennel, clove, and cinnamon to name a few, are all hand selected from the earth of our sweet town in Lyons. We then craft our Gin using the rare “ basket” method, suspending our signature mix of botanicals in a delicate wire mesh basket in the column of the still. The vaporized spirit then passes through this botanical basket and extracts their flavors. The result: a brighter, lighter gin bursting with aroma and flavor.
Richardo’s Coffee Liqueur
Not much needs to be said about this coffee liqueur beyond the word exceptional.
All one needs to do is SHAKE, FLIP, AND SIP your own bottle of Richardo’s to feel the same way. Made in Lyons for over 20 years, this unbeatable coffee liqueur is finally available for purchase to the public. Not only is it delicious, it is 40 Proof. You can thank us later.
Mountain Bum Rum
Spirit Hound Distillers Tours
Spirit Hound’s Tasting Room is proud to open its doors to friends both old & new. We offer information about our distillation process along with free tastes of our spirit line. In addition, this warm and inviting place offers an array of unique & inspired cocktails to be had while hanging back and listening to live music overhead in the tree house. Check our calendar for upcoming events & live music!!
Currently OPEN :
Mon: 11am – 8pm
Tue-Wed: 3pm – 8pm
Thurs: 3pm – 9pm
Fri – Sat: 11am – 9pm
Sun: 11am – 7pm
Always call ahead for Tour, Tasting Hours, and Additional Information
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