Taking a page from the rise and success of microbreweries, distilleries are becoming trendy new gathering places in many mountain towns. Here are a few great options for tours, tastings and hands-on distilling experiences for group gatherings. 

Park Distillery
Banff, Alberta, Canada

Sourcing water that originates from six glaciers in the Canadian Rockies, Park Distillery offers small-batch spirits (vodka, gin and rye), backcountry hut décor and campfire-inspired cuisine. Groups also will appreciate the private and semiprivate spaces for gathering, a heated patio, tastings and mini bottle gift options. The whole facility can hold up to 180 seated and 250 for a cocktail-style event, while the Guides Room and Library hold 40-70. 

“I recently attended a large media event at Park Distillery to kick off the Tribute to Craft Spirits Festival—a new element of Banff and Lake Louise’s winter festival SnowDays—and was amazed at how they essentially recreated their space to provide the perfect venue for us. Not only that, but I feel that Park Distillery is truly authentically local and really represents what Banff National Park is all about,” says John Doherty, communications and media coordinator for Banff & Lake Louise Tourism.  

Tumbleroot Brewery and Distillery
Santa Fe, New Mexico

Ever heard of a brewstillery? The idea for Tumbleroot was sprouted in 2015 when co-founders Jason Fitzpatrick and Jason Kirkman were on a biking tour of Denver, Colorado breweries and distilleries. They decided to build a combined production space and create a multifaceted taproom that has cozy indoor and outdoor spaces and serves as a music venue with a stage and sound system. Also at the heart of the vision was making beer and spirits (rum, whiskey, vodka, gin and agave spirits) using seasonal, wild and organic ingredients. 

Tumbleroot’s Agua Fria taproom in Sante Fe opened its doors to the public in April 2018. For private events, there is seating for 220 inside and 120 outside, and there is enough space indoors to host 400 reception-style. The large space also is conducive to a variety of group activities such as yoga classes.   

Spotted bear spirits
Whitefish, Montana

This community-minded craft distillery receives its inspiration from Montana’s wild places, which are reflected in a lineup of spirits that includes gin, vodka and coffee liqueur. The tasting room features seasonal cocktails made with local and organic ingredients, juices pressed on-site and housemade syrups, shrubs, tonics and bitters. Spotted Bear can accommodate up to 75 if 
the entire tasting room is rented and 15-20 at a time for a tasting and tour. 

Heritage Distilling Company
Roslyn, Washington

The family-operated Heritage Distilling Company (HDC) produces a wide variety of whiskey, vodka and gin from as many local ingredients as possible and operates six distillery tasting rooms in Eugene, Oregon, and Gig Harbor, Roslyn and Seattle in Washington. In Roslyn, a former coal mining town in the foothills of the North Cascade Mountains, the venue and staff are well-versed in providing group tastings and tours and hosting meetings, receptions and holiday parties. The three private and semiprivate spaces accommodate groups of 16-55. 

“Typically the space is used by smaller groups for either breakouts away from the larger conference (often times at Suncadia) or small companies or nonprofits seeking a laid-back  yet historically classic setting for their strategic planning, training or sales development. Meetings sometimes adjourn with a group spirits tasting,” says General Manager Beth Marker. 

HDC also has three-hour educational experiences like My Batch where groups and individuals can learn about the distilling process from beginning to end, bottle the spirits and take home two bottles that they helped make. The My Batch classes also include a tour with the head distiller and a food pairing with several HDC products.

Alpine Distilling
Park City, Utah

The Alpine Distilling Gin Experience is similar but with a four-course meal at its microdistilling location in downtown Park City at 350 Main. It’s a memorable way to discover the art of distilling by selecting your own ingredients; learning about the history of gin and the science of aroma sensory; and discovering the various food courses with 350 Main’s chef, Mat Safranek. 

Owner Rob Sergent was inspired by his Kentucky moonshine roots, and the distillery’s gin, whiskey, vodka and liqueurs are a nod to the flavorful European spirits he enjoyed while living in Great Britain and Germany. Tastings that include the entire portfolio of spirits are available at 350 Main, and tours of the production facility at another location can be booked.

High West Distillery
Wanship, Utah 

Founded in 2006, High West Distillery began with humble roots, opening a saloon in 2009 with a small, 250-gallon still in a historic livery stable and garage in downtown Park City. There has been much growth since then. High West Saloon continues to operate as a gastro-distillery, Nelson Cottage in Park City offers whiskey-paired dinners and High West Distillery at Blue Sky Ranch in Wanship is an event space and location for educational whiskey tastings, pairings, tours, and a large 1,600-gallon copper pot still. 

The Wanship location provides a scenic backdrop for groups of up to 80 for plated dinners and 125 for buffet-style events when the deck is utilized. For a cocktail reception, the range bumps up to 150-250. Private tours and tastings reflect why the company’s passion for making whiskey reflects the adventurous spirit of the American West and extends to ryes, bourbons, vodkas and mixed cocktail blends.    

Marble Distilling Co.
Carbondale, Colorado

Marble Distilling Co. features all sorts of great spirits made in a sustainable fashion due to a water and energy reclamation system that saves more than 4 million gallons of water and harvests 1.8 billion BTUs annually. All grains are grown locally, and the vodka is filtered through crushed Yule marble from a quarry 25 miles south in Marble. Another unique fact is there are five luxury guest rooms above the distillery.

Vodka, whiskey, bourbon and liqueurs (Gingercello and Moonlight EXpresso) are on the menu in Marble Distilling Co.’s tasting room that holds up to 78. The private Barrel Club Room has a maximum capacity of 35, and the upper and lower patios can host up to 20 each. A full buyout, including production space, is possible for up to 150. 

“We’ve had several corporate groups, from full buyouts of the rooms and all space, to utilizing just the tasting room and/or Barrel Club Room for meetings followed by a tour and tasting to groups getting on the bottling line for a team-building party (this can be up to three hours and includes food, drinks, working the line and everyone taking a signed bottle home with them),” says Connie Baker, head distiller. “We even had Montanya Distillers come over from Crested Butte for three days and hold their annual retreat here; they took over the guest rooms and tasting room for meetings during the day and partied in the tasting room at night.”  

Backwards Distilling Company
Casper, Wyoming

Located at the base of Casper Mountain in central Wyoming, Casper has added Backwards Distilling Company’s new tasting room to its list of downtown attractions. The distillery will celebrate its fifth anniversary in December and can now host groups of up to 35 in a private space upstairs; there also is a large tasting room space on the main floor. Backwards hosts tours, tastings and cocktail-making classes for corporate groups that are a perfect introduction to made-in-Wyoming vodka, gin and rum. Earlier this year, they released their first-ever batch of whiskey.

Brush Creek Distillery
Saratoga, Wyoming

The Farm at Brush Creek opened in July 2019, providing nine immersive food, beverage and event experiences at the 30,000-acre Brush Creek Ranch. Brush Creek Distillery is one of the nine options and offers a selection of small-batch rye, vodka, gin, moonshine and whiskey, as well as tastings and tours. Head Distiller Stephen Julander plans to incorporate local botanicals such as juniper, yarrow, rye and lavender to create spirits truly unique to Brush Creek Ranch. Able to accommodate groups of up to 20, Brush Creek offers groups options like barrel tastings straight from the barrel, tastings of classic and seasonal spirits, a blending seminar and more. 

Jackson Hole Still Works
Jackson Hole, Wyoming

Friends and business partners Chas Marsh and Travis Goodman make 100 percent of Jackson Hole Still Works vodka and gin from locally sourced non-GMO grains and botanicals. The distillery hosts several events, tours, tastings and cocktail classes in town and throughout the region, with the tasting room able to host around 20 guests. Arrangements for smaller premium experiences and larger groups can be accommodated. The “Spirit of Wyoming Label Competition” gives Wyoming artists the chance to be featured on the company’s Jackson Hole Still Works Vodka label for a year.

What are you waiting for? Meet, mix and mingle in style at the expanding distillery scene in the mountains! 

Get Connected

Alpine Distilling
alpinedistilling.com
435.200.9537

Backwards Distilling Company
backwardsdistilling.com
307.472.1275

Brush Creek 
Distillery
brushcreekranch.com
307.327.5284

Heritage Distilling Company
heritagedistilling.com
509.904.0957

High West Distillery
highwest.com
435.513.6654

Jackson Hole 
Still Works 
jhstillworks.com
307.699.8998

Marble Distilling Co.
marbledistilling.com
970.963.7008

Park Distillery
parkdistillery.com
403.762.5114

Spotted Bear Spirits
spottedbearspirits.com 
406.730.2436

Tumbleroot Brewery and Distillery 
tumblerootbreweryanddistillery.com
505.780.5730

Where groups can wrap up a day of winter fun in Steamboat Springs, Taos, Alta and Snowbird.

 

It may just involve two planks, a gondola or sleigh ride to get there. 

 

Megan Jones-Holt purchased Stockton Market’s Market Pizza restaurant  in Stockton, N.J., from former owner and renowned caterer and chef Jamie Hollander in May 2016.