Reggae jams are played in the background of a Fuzzy Little Mang Peach with grapefruit, elderflower and more from Wood’s High Mountain Distillery. (Sara Grant, The Know)
It’s a bar crawl without ever going outside. It’s a food hall, but for alcohol. Getting the idea yet?
BOOZ hall RiNo, a new space with five tasting rooms and bottle shops selling Colorado-made craft spirits and cocktails, is now open in the Denver neighborhhod that is best known for brewery hopping.
BOOZ officially opened on June 23 with local makers 3 Hundred Days of Shine, Jack Rabbit Hill Farm, Rising Sun Distillery, State 38 Distilling and Wood’s High Mountain Distillery. The hall will be open Tuesday through Sunday until December, but the vendors inside remain optimistic that the new experiment will stick and they can have Denver homes for the foreseeable future.
Here’s what you will find:
The first stop through the door on your BOOZ tour takes you to 3 Hundred Days of Shine, a moonshine shop out of Monument with alcohol distilled by a retired Army veteran. Old newspaper clippings and photos of moonshiners hang on the wall and the sun creeps through the front windows as you try the Apple Pie, Margarita Moon, Summertime Strawberry Lemonade, Firebomb, Peach Cobbler or Colorado Honey moonshine. Some of them are 100 proof (you have been warned). Try the flavors as shots, or make any a mule for $9.
Just past a cute sitting nook adorned with greenery you’ll find Rising Sun Distillery from Denver. In business since 2014, the micro distillery creates everything from scratch. If you’re doing more of a tasting tour, a single taste of the classic liquors here will run you $2.50, or you can split four for $10 and eight for $20. Creative cocktails like the Barrel-Aged Dirty Old Man with gin, tart cherry peach brandy, an orange twist and a cherry will run you $10; others are $11 or $7.50. And P.S.: There are Boozpops.
Take a quick walk through the vendor area (whether you stop in for a booze-induced buy is up to you) to get to Jack Rabbit Hill Farm. One highlight of BOOZ hall is it is bringing far-away makers into the heart of the city.
Jack Rabbit sits in the North Fork Valley on 70 acres. Now, you can try the farm’s organic and bio-dynamic libations with a much shorter drive (but use an Uber or Lyft, please). The bottles are popping for Rose, Chardonnary, Pinot Noir and a variety of organic ciders. If you taste something you like, all bottles will run you less than $30.
Nope, you’re not done yet. Right next door, separated by just a rope, is State 38 Distilling of Golden. You can try a variety of agave spirits, barrel-aged spirits or grain spirits, but we recommend the margarita. Made with different bitters and served with a jalapeno, it will make you think twice about ordering a classic ever again.
Your last stop will take you south to Salida. What you lack in mountain views from the original Wood’s High Mountain Distillery, you will gain in reggae jams at this tasting room. The Wood brothers’ mission was to “bottle the essence of the Colorado mountains.” In this room, that translated into cocktails like the OZmazing for $10 with Treeline Gin, lime and sugar plum pea flower tea and the Pineapple Piracy for $10 with pineapple-infused gin, lime and lavender and vanilla bitters. Pineapples in the Colorado mountains? When it tastes that good, you’ll believe anything.
And with that, your journey through Colorado via local distillers is through. Hopefully you didn’t try them all in one day. If you did, your ride-share driver is bound to get a good laugh as he gets you home.