Owners Manuel Sanchez and Joanne Keys lead a staff of oenophiles who stock West End’s intimate shelves with hand-selected, value-priced bottles from producers both foreign and domestic. The team rigorously tastes each wine that the store sells, then privately ranks them on a scale from “sangria” to “cellar” to “object of worship.” Shelves brim with such enological gems as the Sean Minor pinot noir ($18), which glides across palates with preternatural delicacy, and the robust Protocolo red from Spain ($9), which demonstrates its value for cooks by doubling as a rolling pin. Meanwhile, the Jordan cabernet sauvignon ($55) dons formal attire as it assumes its place among the West End Wine Shop’s elite selection of premium wines. Corks fly on Wednesdays as the staff pours complimentary tastes of choice elixirs, allowing customers to sample bottles and judge their lip-staining potential.
In 1995, Twisted Pine Brewing Company began as something more of a grove than a forest, with brewer Gordon King crafting just a trio of beers in equipment purchased from New Belgium. Come 1996, the company fell into the hands of current owner Bob Baile, who merged the nascent brewery with his own project, Peak to Peak Brewing Company, and began bolstering the lineup with inventive stouts, ales, and porters. Since then, Twisted Pine has maintained a high standard of quality even in the face of its expanding scale, as evidenced by the gold medals garnered at the Great American Beer Festival for its American Amber Ale and Oak Whiskey Red. They credit their love for experimentation and strong community involvement as the driving force behind crafting beers that surprise and delight their loyal customers.
Today, locals and visitors mingle in the tap room, where the beer menu offers seasonal specials such as the Ghost Face Killah, infused with the 1.1 million Scovilles of the Bhut Jolokia pepper, and rated by Bon Appétit as one of the top ten weirdest beers in America. And to pair with the beer and drawers of otherwise useless silverware, the food menu features hearty pizzas, sandwiches, and salads.
Boulder Distillery's story sounds like something straight out of a novel. In 1907, Pete Viezbicke Sr. loaded his steamer trunk and left Poland for the United States. Little did he know that stowed away in his trunk's lining was his family's potato vodka recipe, but it wasn't until after he passed away that the recipe was uncovered by his daughter-in-law. Inspired by the discovery, his grandson Steve Viezbicke began tinkering with the recipe until the smell resembled the aromas of his grandfather's homemade hooch. The result is 303 Vodka?303 being the average number of hiccups caused by each bottle. He further experiments with the recipe throughout the year, infusing the vodkas with a variety of ingredients, including sweet pepper, pickle, and apple-cinnamon, and has expanded into whisky production as well. Those who want to see how Grandpa Pete's happy juice is made can schedule a tour of the distillery, and then sample it firsthand in the charming tasting room.
Roundhouse Distilleries is the answer for spirit connoisseurs who are looking for a refreshing alternative to quality products produced by behemoth, faceless conglomerates. Expanding product line from the original award winning gin to Corretto coffee liqueur, Imperial Barrel Aged Gin and soon to be released Tatonka Agave
When John and Ulla first traveled through the Palisade countryside in 1994, it was filled with peach orchards. But after they attended a seminar on grape-growing the same year, the pair found themselves more inspired by that particular fruit. They returned to Palisade to purchase a 10-acre plot, camping in a trailer amid the trees as they transformed the land into their own vineyard. Years of planting and pruning vines yielded a rich harvest including Chardonnay, Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon—and Bookcliff Vineyards.
Today, Bookcliff has expanded into 37 acres, and Ulla and John produce a dozen varietals using sustainable practices and strictly their own Colorado grapes. The grounds include a winery and tasting room, where guests peek at the Old-World-meets-New-World-meets-brewing-world lineup of oak barrels and stainless steel tanks. In addition to chardonnay and cabernet sauvignon, their award-winning selection of wines includes lesser-known varietals such as Muscat and Viognier.
Michaela DeGraw hails from Louisville, Colorado. As fate would have it, her business partner, Lisa Shuman, hails from Louisville, too—the one famous for its bluegrass. Though they grew up far from each other, they share a unique vision at Bean and Berry. They've built their business around a community mindset, creating a space where visitors can gather with friends for a cup of locally roasted coffee in the morning, a glass of wine in the evening, or a goblet of table salt at all hours. In addition to day-to-day snacking and sipping, Michaela and Lisa also open the doors to Bean and Berry for special events, including live music performances; check out their Facebook page for event updates. The menu features fresh to order sandwiches and salads and also hosts savory and sweet crepes.