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Local distillery thriving among growing number of breweries

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. -- In a state known for its abundance of beer, a local distillery is celebrating its 5-year anniversary as one of the few craft distilleries in Colorado Springs.

More than 10 percent of the nation's craft breweries can be found in Colorado as the state is home to nearly 230 breweries - that's compared to just over 100 distilleries which focus on whiskey and other spirits.

"Being a small craft distillery in the state of Colorado is very unique," said Michael Myers, the owner of Distillery 291, a small local operation tucked away near Cheyenne Mountain.

"I love whiskey," said Myers. "It's a creative process that I really enjoy. We are grain to barrel to bottle, we say, so we start from scratch."

"I'm someone who doesn't really like the taste of much alcohol in my beverages and this is just smooth," said Jenny Vinatieri. "I do taste the whiskey but it's a nice blend, I love it."

In a state known for its beer, Myers says the competition is virtually non-existent.

"People that drink beer, don't drink a lot of whiskey and most people that drink whiskey don't drink a lot of beer," he said. "They go one way or the other -- at least I find that."

Some of the distillery's spirits are finished on Aspen wood giving it all the more flavor people can enjoy.

"Well you can smell it right when you come in and it smells really good," said Eli Muhl.

Inspired by the Wild West, Myers says he wanted to make a whiskey people would remember.

"When it came to making a whiskey when I was in Colorado, I just felt that it needed to be the whiskey that when you walked into a bar and said give me a whiskey, it was the whiskey they put on the bar," he said.

Beginning Wednesday night, the distillery will be hosting events until Saturday to celebrate their anniversary. For a full list, click here.

 

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