2020 CMA Preview: Outstanding Craft Distiller

By Gregory Daurer | Jul 12, 2020

Brewing & Distilling Colorado

With more than 60 distilleries within its borders, Colorado is on the map nationally -- not to mention internationally -- in terms of producing exalted spirits. And for those visiting the state, there's now an online spirits trail, produced by the Colorado Distillers Guild and the largest of its kind in the country, to guide spirits fans from establishment to establishment, production facility to regional distillery. Using our entrants as one possible route to take, the journey traverses from Boulder County down to our capital city and then west across the mountains to Montrose.

Each of the contenders for the 2020 Colorado Manufacturing Award for Outstanding Craft Distiller spotlights Colorado-grown ingredients, as well as hewing to a course and identity that's their very own, shaped by our state's geography and the pursuit of refined quality.

Mythology Distillery



Founded: 2018

Privately owned

Employees: 10

Industry: Brewing & Distilling

Products: Spirits

Photo courtesy Mythology Distillery

Self-distributed throughout Colorado, Mythology Distillery is doubling its production to coincide with its 2020 national rollout. Last year, its spirits -- which include whiskey, rye vodka, and rum -- won 31 medals at competitions across the globe -- from China to San Francisco to London.

One of the company's gins incorporates elderflower, lemon verbena, and chamomile from a local source: "Our partnership with Denver Botanic Gardens is the first such partnership in the county for a distillery to have botanicals grown by the local botanical gardens that are then used in the distillation of a gin," notes the company, which returns part of the profits to that beloved Denver institution.

Mythology Distillery also adheres to sustainable practices, which conserve water and turn waste into compost.

CompanyWeek profile: https://companyweek.com/article/mythology-distillery

Dry Land Distillers


Longmont, Colorado

Privately owned

Founded: 2017

Employees: 8

Industry: Brewing & Distilling

Products: Spirits

Citing its use of ingredients grown in Colorado and the American West, the company declares, "Dry Land Distillers has a singular mission -- to develop world class spirits that are authentic to the place we live."

Its Heirloom Wheat Whiskey uses an "ancient grain," grown in the Southwest and malted locally.

Dry Land Distillers makes mezcal-like spirits from prickly pear -- which is sourced for now from California, until the company can ensure a local supply chain with the help of the Southern Ute Indian Tribe in southwestern Colorado.

Juniper's essential to gin, but not every distiller uses a native variety, as well as other botanicals all found in Colorado.

The distillery is expanding its distribution footprint in 2020. Dry Land's spirits are sold by about 10 retail outlets, which purchase every drop of the company's distributed output.

Storm King Distilling


Montrose, Colorado

Founded: 2017

Privately owned

Employees: 4

Industry: Brewing & Distilling

Products: Spirits

Storm King Distilling Co. is reaching out from Montrose across the Western Slope of Colorado with its gins, agave spirits, rum, and vodka. The company sources all of the grain for its whiskey from growers in Colorado.

"The love we have for premium spirits -- and desire to showcase the true essence of the raw materials we use -- comes through in our approach to developing our line of handcrafted products," the company notes. "Attention to detail and a respect for the methods used and time required to create these unique expressions, sets us apart."

Sales are up over 50 percent since opening in 2017, and Storm King's spirits have been honored at various competitions. And then there's this family business's singular motto: "Craftsmanship without pretense."

CompanyWeek profile: https://companyweek.com/article/storm-king-distilling

The Colorado Manufacturing Awards will take place virtually from 2:30 to 5 p.m. on Aug. 6, 2020.