Feisty Spirits brings first distillery fest to FoCo

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Feisty Festies sipped on Colorado crafted whiskey, gin and vodka cocktails to soothe the hot temperatures Saturday afternoon, July 19.

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In honor of their first birthday, Feisty Spirits, located at 1708 E. Lincoln Ave., hosted the first-ever distillery festival with four other distillers from Northern Colorado. 

“It’s funny to think back in the day when they had the first brew fest,” said Jason Hevelone of CopperMuse Distillery. “This could be the first distillery festival.”

The occasion brought young and old to taste and sample locally-grown and distilled products from Feisty Spirits, Black Canyon Distillery, CopperMuse Distillery, KJ Wood Distillers and Spirit Hound Distillers.

Jamie Gulden, co-owner of Feisty Spirits, whipped up whiskey milkshakes for the occasion – one of his very own concoctions.

“It’s just one of my favorite things: milkshakes and whiskey,” Gulden said. “How could you go wrong, right?”

Feisty Spirits officially started distilling and opened their tasting room a year ago Saturday, the first of the Northern Colorado distillers.

“We’re just celebrating the community, really,” said Alex Mackewich, a 2012 CSU apparel and merchandising alumna who does promotions and sales for Feisty Spirits.

Mackewich said all of their ingredients come from a farm just 25 minutes down the road, ensuring their product is 100 percent Colorado grown. They strive to make “non-conformist whiskey for feisty souls.”

Chris Miller, from Longs Peak Landscape, came out to support the distillers.

“I’m a feisty type of guy,” Miller said.

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Each distillery provides a distinct Colorado-crafted spirit and also emphasizes the locality of their ingredients, from start to finish.

Black Canyon Distillery from Longmont specializes in mash-corn whiskey and gives their leftover grains to turkeys and hogs at a farm nearby.

“We’re Colorado proud,” said co-founder Susan Lesnick. “We make everything that we sell.”

KJ Wood Distillers out of Berthoud creates lavender gin and a Colorado white whiskey that comes from farms within a two-mile radius.

“He wanted to make gin for when it was well-known with the intoxication of the spirits,” said Cassie Taylor of KJ Wood.

Tana’s Delights, owned by Tana Rosenberg, was among the vendors, selling alcohol-infused cakes, cookies and other treats. Rosenberg values using all local products, including Feisty Spirits whiskeys and CopperMuse vodkas.

“Honestly, I’m a native,” Rosenberg said. “Being local, I think it’s good to promote from within.”

When not sampling spirits, Feisty Fest attendees listened to local Fort Collins acts The SeersLunde Station, and Aspen Hourglass. Garlic knots and pizza from the Garlic Knot were also provided.

Collegian News Editor Hannah Hemperly can be reached at news@collegian.com.