What do Denver and my mouth have in common? Wrong, and get your mind out of the gutter. We are both extremely happy when overflowing with craft spirits. The Denver craft spirit scene (and my mouth) are about to get a huge boost with the opening of Mile High Spirits Distillery and Tasting Room, located at 2920 Larimer. Having gone through five soft openings this week, they are set for their Grand Opening this Saturday, Feb. 25 at 5:00pm.
I sat down with Wyn Ferrell, one of three partners, to discuss the distillery, the spirits and the space:
Mile High will focus on four brands, serving only what they distill on site: Elevated Vodka, Fireside Whiskey, Peg Leg Rum (both a white rum and a spiced), and Denver Dry Gin. While the other side of their business will still cater to their private label clients, the tasting room is set to become a destination for spirit lovers. They will have six rotating vodka infusions, including an olive infused for dirty martinis and an upscale martini bar that will feature several “exotic” martinis. The have hired a full time cocktail connoisseur (read: mixologist) to make sure the cocktail menu will be one of the best in town. With the ability to create an infinite flavor line-up, I do not doubt this ambition. Their primary focus will be on flavor and unique cocktails – I also spied a fair amount of Mule cups on the bar, so I am pretty excited about that.
The brands will also be available for purchase on site. The vodka, rum and gin will sell for $18 a bottle, and the whiskey, aged four and a half years in oak barrels, will sell for $24. “Top shelf liquor at well prices” says Ferrell. All four brands should hit liquor stores by the end of this week.
The space is pretty fantastic, and trust me, I know fantastic. Designed by the wife of one of the partners, it has an upscale urban feel. Concrete bar, rich leather sofas, funky lighting, pool table. I sorta want to move in, honestly. It really is a perfect blend of fancy and relaxing – both things a successful cocktail lounge should be.
As soon as the ground thaws, they will be expanding into a large patio space with 1/3 deck and 2/3 lawn devoted to horseshoe, bocce ball, and corn hole. They will be doing tournaments with the winner taking home a bottle of their choice. Sounds like a reason for me to learn this “corn hole” thing all the kids are talking about. While lacking the previously reported restaurant, they will have a steady rotation of food trucks to keep your bellies extra happy.
Their “bread and butter” will remain the private label distilling they do for clients seeking a distillery partner. Clients come to Mile High with a vague idea or a full blow business plan and they will assist with flavor profiles, bottle choices, labeling, and distribution. They currently distill for 25 different private labels, using a multitude of fermentable adjuncts such as corn, rye, wheat or sugarcane and each using a distinct formula. Sadly, the confidential nature of their private label clients will prevent Mile High from doing distillery tours.
Ferrell is very excited to partner with other business in the emerging RiNo district and has plans to use some of the walls as gallery space. They have also been reaching out to other distilleries in the area, offering their space for tastings and conferences to promote the distilling community, a community that all the partners of Mile High are clearly happy to be a part of.
Join Mile High (30th & Larimer) on Saturday at 5:00pm for their Grand Opening celebration. They will be featuring $5 doubles, mules, and martinis this weekend. Food trucks confirmed are Mestizos, Crock Spot, and Kneaded Bread.
Cornhole, people. Corn. Hole.