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.
Each batch of Syntax Spirits Distillery’s vodka, whisky, and rum is made by hand using stainless-and-copper fractionating stills, Colorado Weld County wheat or American Molasses, and Cache La Poudre River whitewater. The result of these curated elements are incredibly smooth, complex spirits versatile enough to be sipped or mixed.
At the distillery, visitors are filled in on the process that brings these drinks to life and can taste the fruits of the facility’s labor. Along with its signature spirits, the distillery boasts housemade infusions that range from bourbon vanilla to citrus flavors. Guests can sample the different infusions as chilled shots or in a signature cocktail at the cocktail bar in the industrial-style tasting room where neon signs and antique light fixtures illuminate each sip. When guests aren’t mid-pinball game or sampling drinks at the 40-foot-long concrete bar, the staff leads complimentary tours of the distillery’s manufacturing area, where Laverne & Shirley imitations are prohibited.
True to its name, Feisty Spirits' logo is a winking specter. This image emblazons every barrel of the distillery's aged whiskey, its winking visage hinting at the mischief and wonder inside. For there's a sense of playful experimentation that goes into crafting the flavor profile for each drink. The flagship bourbon, for example, is subtly nutty and earthy, while the cinnamon whiskey uses only a dash of the aromatic spice, which makes for a sweet finish and prevents you from roaring flames after every sip. Guests can see how these creations are made from the tasting room, where a window peers right into the distilling area. Here, ingredients boil and condense in a large, shining still.