Breckenridge, Colo.-The fifth annual Still on the Hill Craft Spirits Festival in Breckenridge featured 30craft distillers at the sold-out grand tasting, the public highlight of the weekend-long event. The public was able to meet the distillers, try the various spiritsand vote for their favorite spirit. Many of the distillers made cocktails featuring their spirits so that guests could experience how the products can be used. Attendees received poker chips used to vote for their favorite distillery. Distillery291, fromColorado Springs, Colorado, won the coveted People’s Choice award.For the industry side,the festivalconductedindustry judging in addition to its people’s choice award, rounding out the recognitionaspectof the event. In the“Judgment on the Hill” twenty-onedistinctions were awarded(see below for complete listing). Each distillery could enter two spirits into a variety of categories. The spirits were judged in a double blind taste test by an esteemed panel of industry experts: Tom Fischer, host and producer of BourbonBlog, Nancy Fraley, writer and organoleptic analysis expert, and Eric Watson,international beverage consultant. The panel bestowed sixGold and fifteenSilver judgments.The awards were based on the qualityof each spirit with regard to taste, smell, integrity and smoothness and not as a ranking of spirits against one another. “This format of judging helps raise the quality of the emerging craft spirits industry as a whole because our products are being judged on their intrinsic merit”, explained Jordan Via, master distiller at Breckenridge Distillery. The fun, funky historic town of Breckenridge has embraced the growing craft distilling trend with its annual festival. This year’s event was held October 24-26. Breckenridge, founded during Colorado’s gold rush in 1859, is no stranger to distilling. Stills kept

miners’ thirsts quenched during its first heyday and now Breckenridge is home to the original Still on the Hill event. Guests enjoyed a Poker Run and Bar Mix-off, historic saloon tour and shot glass art on Friday night, which saw Breckenridge hopping. Saturday, revelers cooked with spirits, visited the Breckenridge Distillery open house,filled the grand tastingand rocked the night away with the Honey Gitters at the Gold Pan. Sunday was mellower with hangover brunches around town and historic walking tours for the more ambitious. The festival raised money for the Breckenridge Restaurant Association, which pours funds back into the community. Dates for the 2015event will be announced early in 2015and will be posted on www.breckenridgecraftspiritsfestival.com.2014“Judgment on the Hill” Spirits Awards:GOLD:Snova VodkaCopper Muse Vertueux VodkaRoundhouse GinCopper Muse Gold Rum 808 Distillery’s Leo’s Limoncello J & L Distillery’s FYR Cinnamon Liqueur SILVER:Woody Creek VodkaBlack Canyon Distillery’s Mayhem Creek Pepper VodkaWoody Creek Stobrawa Reserve VodkaSanta Fe Spirits Wheeler’s GinJ & L Distillery’s Sno GinBone Spirits’ Moody June American Dry GinSpirit Hound Distillers’ GinMile High Spirits Denver Dry Gin

Roundhouse Spirits Imperial Barrel Aged GinMile High Spirits Cuidado Tequila Golden Moon Distillery Dry Curacao Stranahan’s Colorado WhiskeyWood’s High Mountain Distillery Tenderfoot WhiskeyDistillery 291 Aspen Stave RyeWyoming Whiskey

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Post comment