Branch & Barrel began with three friends, a dream, and a small residential hot water heater. When owners Scott, Ryan, and Tom met through their day jobs, they bonded over the idea of creating a project that would produce high quality authentic Colorado craft spirits. They didn’t have a still, a facility, barrels, or a recipe, but what they did have was good old American ingenuity. Through skills acquired from time in plumbing and construction, the team put their heads together and got to work. They ran various recipes through their little water heater still until they produced something they considered “drinkable,” then aged the spirit in mason jars with charred tree trimmings from their own backyards. Because our first “barrels” were branches, it only made sense to adopt the moniker as a company name. Seven years later, Branch & Barrel Distilling produces a variety of award-winning whiskies, unique barrel finishes, and experimental spirits, still using handbuilt equipment to this day.
Let’s elaborate on “hand-built equipment.” Our first production still was a retrofitted Campbell’s soup making machine. After it became damaged beyond repair, we upgraded to a distilled water plant tank (also retrofitted), which is what we currently use today. It worked out so well, we actually added a second one. Our fermenters are up-cycled condiment storage tanks, our low and high wines tanks are up-cycled soda plant tanks, and we utilize a repurposed industrial screw press to maximize our fermentation yield. Not only do these practices save us money, but they also help to cut down on metal waste in landfills. Not to mention the fact that all this unorthodox equipment makes fantastic whiskey!
Branch & Barrel’s award-winning Flagship Bourbon recipe features two wonderful Colorado grains: Corn & Barley. By utilizing a higher corn recipe, we’re able to create a smooth, sweet, and incredibly drinkable bourbon that showcases all the amazing character imparted by the barrel. It also supports Colorado farmers! Our corn comes from Wiggins, our Barley comes from Monte Vista, and we pull our mineral-rich water from our own wells out on the plains. This has historically been the mashbill for the majority of our releases, but we are now incorporating Rye and Wheat in an effort to bring even more Colorado goodness to your glass.
WHY WE DO IT
To keep a long story short, we do this because we love it. And we love you – the Colorado craft spirits community. No Colorado distillery can do what we do without your support, and it means the world to us. We’ll keep pushing the boundaries of Colorado whiskey as long as you keep drinking it!