Few would have imagined Jason Hevelone's most complicated professional project wouldn't come until after he decided to give up his engineering career. The Colorado State grad had long harbored interest in both brewing and winemaking. After sampling a gin and tonic made from craft spirits, Jason, together with his wife, fellow Colorado State grad Heather Trantham, was inspired to combine the fermentation skills of a brewer with the artistic expression of the winemaker to produce hand-crafted distilled spirits.
Jason and Heather opened the doors to CopperMuse Distillery in April of 2014. Their first release was Vertueux Vodka, a classic grain liquor made smooth by using filtered water from melted Rockies snow. It won a gold medal at the 2014 Breckenridge Craft Spirits Festival, as did the Gold Rum, which is aged in used whiskey barrels and has notes of vanilla, molasses, and caramel. These two spirits constitute half of what's currently available from CopperMuse (a black vodka and silver rum are also in production), though plans to introduce gin, bourbon, and spiced rum are in the works. That's not to say there isn't much to sample there?after a distillery tour, guests can sidle up to the bar to sip more than 40 craft cocktails that incorporate the four spirits. CopperMuse also serves freshly prepared daily specials such as tapas, panini, and salads from the on-site kitchen.