Denver Distillery almost ready to sling cocktails along South Broadway

Denver Distillery is looking to open in Speer in either December or January.
3 min. read
Head distiller Chad Peters in the yet-opened Denver Distillery on South Broadway, Nov. 2, 2017. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite) denver; colorado; denverite; denver distillery; south broadway; food; nightlife; alcohol; craft

Head distiller Chad Peters in the yet-opened Denver Distillery on South Broadway, Nov. 2, 2017. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)

The guys behind Denver Distillery could have produced a young bourbon during the last six years that they've been working on their tasting room along South Broadway.

Instead, owner Ron Tarver and head distiller Chad Peters refinished the basement of 244 S. Broadway to hold wood barrels for fermenting, added space for custom-made distillers and filtered through the state and federal licensing processes. The duo said last week that they're looking to open Denver Distillery in either December or January.

"As you get near the end of your life you want to be more creative. This is a creative enterprise," Tarver said.

Tarver scooped up the 124-year-old property north of East Alameda Avenue in 1999, property records show. The Bardo Coffeehouse operates out of the three-story building, the tropical-themed tiki bar Adrift is to the north and Illegal Pete's to the south.

A soft opening for the sophisticated Archetype Distillery is expected be held in coming days, a representative for the company said Tuesday. The distillery at 119 S. Broadway is walking distance north of Denver Distillery.

Peters worked in various trades including making stills for distillers prior to joining Denver Distillery.

"I just walked in the door and said, 'I'm a carpenter who wants to become a distiller, and I heard you want to open a distillery,'" he said.

Like many new distillers that need time to age their alcohol, Denver Distillery plans to start out with clear spirits like vodka and add rum and whiskey to its menu later. The distillery is expected to be one of the first businesses in Colorado to get a distillery pub license allowing it to serve food, beer and other alcoholic beverages.

The Idaho-based distillery-restaurant Bardenay got a distillery pub license before backing out of its plans to open in Park Hill. Steamboat Whiskey Co. opened this year in Steamboat Springs with a distillery pub license and Idlewild Spirits opened with one in Winter Park during summer 2016. Altogether, the state has issued 92 licenses to companies looking to make whiskey, vodka and other spirits.

"If you're not going to buy our spirts, we want you to try some of the other products being made in Colorado," Peters said. "We're not going to have Jack Daniels or any of those other spirits."

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Business & data reporter Adrian D. Garcia can be reached via email at [email protected] or

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