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Our Humble Beginnings

For our first Blog post it seemed appropriate to answer the question: Who is Branch & Barrel Distilling? It isn’t complicated; we are a small group of determined people who are stubbornly passionate about the craft and care deeply about whiskey and our community. But to truly understand, you need to hear our story. Branch & Barrel Distillery, located at 15353 E Hinsdale Cir STE C, in Centennial, CO., began its humble beginnings with a dream, three friends, and a small residential hot water heater used as a still. Our owners, Scott, Ryan, and Tom, met through their day jobs and began bonding over the idea of creating a project that would produce high quality authentic Colorado craft spirits, with a particular emphasis on Bourbon. So the three decided to make bourbon! But not just any old bourbon.. one that they truly loved. This set a series of events in motion to create a variety of hot water heater stills and to begin distilling and aging their own product on the only wood source they had, branches from the trees in their backyards.

How Our Name Originated To Where We Are Now

Since we hadn’t acquired barrels yet, we aged the experimental spirit in mason jars with the aforementioned charred tree trimmings. Because our first “barrels” were actually branches, it only made sense to adopt the moniker as a company name, thus Branch & Barrel was born! An idea had been given form, and a rustically made spirit aged in a rather unconventional manner was the first step of many that led these friends on a journey of exploration and the pursuit of perfection.

After receiving immense praise over their humble spirit, the three founders decided to take the plunge and invested in opening their own full time distillery. Each founder had their specific role to play in its creation, whether that was finding a suitable location, digging out drains and pits for the stills, or building the stills, tanks, and running the piping between them. The only thing missing was a distiller. During the installation process the founders realized that their electrician Rick was as sharp and determined as they come, and offered him the recipe book and position. After 18 months of hard research and experimentation Rick had our first recipe created and we were ready to begin production.

All Local Ingredients

This is where our character truly begins to shine. The decision was made that we would not source from anywhere out of state, as it flew in the face of creating something new, wonderful, and local. We also decided that we were singularly focused on creating the best Bourbon Colorado had ever tasted, so we didn’t create any clear spirits and chose only to use Colorado supplied grains and water. For example, our Flagship Bourbon is made using a high corn mash, locally obtained from our dairy co-op partners in Wiggins and supplemented with a healthy amount of barley, sourced from our friends at Proximity Malt in Monte Vista. The water used for distilling comes from our own high-quality, mineral-rich wells on the Colorado plains.

These crucial components bestow much of the flavor and character you’ve come to know and love in our spirits, and we believe they’re a huge contributor to the accolades we’ve accumulated through the years. After distillation, we waited, patiently, for our barrels to mature over 2 years before we ever released a product to the market. This was a risky idea, but it truly encapsulates the intensity and passion with which we approach our product.

Expanded Production and Portfolio

As we have grown through the years we have expanded our production and portfolio vastly. We continue to build our own stills and equipment and we put our all into running this operation. Our fermenters are hand filled by bucket and emptied by shovel, and the distillers beer is transferred to the stills through manually operated valves. The only automation we have is our boiler control. Beyond that, every step in our production is human controlled and demonstrates the hard work and love we put into creating our product.

In 2024, we are still following this protocol. It may not be the easy way, but it is the Branch & Barrel way. After winning multiple awards on the products we create, we can tell that our processes make a difference and the quality speaks for itself. We implore you to come visit our Tasting Room in Centennial, experience our spirits, and take a tour of our production facility. We promise that you, too, will be able to taste the difference that a stubborn, determined, and passionate approach to the craft makes in our Colorado Bourbon and Whiskey.

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