Regional flavors lift Spirit Hound’s spirits

LYONS — The new gin and spirits distillery Spirit Hound Distillers crafts its products on a homemade still with local ingredients.

Spirit Hounds LLC, at 4196 Ute Highway, east of Lyons, is now making and bottling small batches of gin, whiskey and vodka on a still made by Craig Engelhorn, the company’s distiller, the company said Nov. 30. The gin is flavored by juniper berries picked by Spirit Hound staffers from trees on company-owned land bordering the St. Vrain River, which runs through Lyons.

“The berries often go from tree to gin in just a couple of hours,” Mathew Rooney, president of the company, said in a press statement. “It’s a spirit loaded with terroir that literally captures the flavor of Lyons.”

Rooney is known locally in the business community as founder and owner of Aspen Meadow Veterinary Specialists PC in Longmont and Alpenglow Veterinary Specialty & Emergency Medical Center LLC in Boulder. Engelhorn was a brewer at Longmont-based Oskar Blues Brewery LLC from 1998 to 2002.

Spirit Hound also produces Richardo’s Decaf Coffee Liqueur under license for Lyons resident Richard England.

Company vice president Neil Sullivan is the founder of the new St. Vrain Market at 455 Main St. in Lyons. Sales director Wayne Anderson was director of sales for Longmont-based Oskar Blues Brewery from 2002 to 2009.

“Distillation has a long history in the United States and Colorado,” Rooney said. “We’re going to connect locals and visitors to that rich past, while we write a new chapter or two in that history.”

The spirits are distributed at select bars and retailers in Boulder and Denver.

Spirit Hound features a tasting room with seating for 40 and bar and cocktail service featuring distillery products. The distiller held a grand-opening celebration Dec. 1.

Colorado has seen a boom in distilleries in recent years, with 30 active distilleries now open and another six expected to open soon, according to Rob Masters, president of the Colorado Distillers Guild. In 2004, there were just three distillers in the state.

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