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Hello from a Denver Distiller

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I'm the distiller for Leopold Bros. out here in Denver, CO. We just moved from Ann Arbor after having been running a brewery/distillery for nearly 10 years. I make pretty much everything, including Vodka, Gin, Whiskeys, Rum, Liqueurs, and Absinthe. We make our own wash, and also use bulk spirit for Absinthe production.

Nice to meet you all.

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Well, in a nutshell, our rent was $8.75 per square foot when we opened, and our landlord wanted $30 per square foot for our next lease. No thanks.

Once we knew we were moving, it made zero sense to stay in MI, where the incredibly corrupt State mandated distribution system forces you to use one of 3 private distributors took a 65% markup for the pleasure of listing your spirit. That's before various taxes that go to the State. I didn't feel like working 70+ hours a week so that some cheesy distributor could buy another summer home in the U.P.

In Colorado, spirits related taxes are incredibly low, and self-distribution is legal. This means your distributor actually has to get off their ass and sell your stuff, or you can simply DIY and keep all the money to yourself. And actually, if we really are trying to help the startup companies in distilling, the A number 1 thing would be to lobby States to allow self-distribution, just as many successful States like CA or CO do for wine an beer.

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