The Springs' second distillery
Among a trio of new spirit-makers angling to join Distillery 291 locally, Axe and the Oak Distillery (4665 Town Center Drive, #140, 494-6148) looks to be first in line. (More on the others coming soon.)
According to 42-year-old co-owner (and local musician) Jason Jackson, who anticipates federal licensure to begin distilling within a month or so, the company of five friends/business partners will launch with a flagship Colorado Mountain Whiskey label. Though it remains in the final development phase, that product aims to employ "accelerated aging" techniques such as the use of wood staves and chips inside the oak barrels, to be ready for market sometime around early fall.
The recipe will be a bourbon one, meaning at least 51-percent corn mash among other qualifiers, but won't be able to be called a bourbon since those must age in new, charred white oak barrels for at least two years to be a "straight" bourbon whiskey. In time, Axe and the Oak will produce a true bourbon plus other products, says Jackson, noting different grain combinations and his own experimental and craft spirit that years ago inspired him to begin roasting his own coffee at home on an air popper he bought at The Arc for $3.
The crew, which has custom-built parts of their own still, plans to source Kansas corn from a friend's family farm and barley and rye malted in southern Colorado; they may even help plant and harvest.
À la carte
• Chef Kevin Campbell of Full Circle Cuisine (fullcirclecuisine.com) has announced a weekly Wednesday series, beginning May 7, of "seasonal tasting menus" at Motif (2432 Cucharras St.) "that will showcase the bounty of our regional farms, urban gardeners, ranchers and butchers." Prior to that, Pablo Bonacic of the Merken food truck joins Campbell on April 23 at 6 p.m. for a $35 collaborative four-course Chilean dinner.
• P.B. & Jellies New York Deli opened a new location in the food court at Chapel Hills Mall (1710 N. Briargate Blvd., pbandjellies.com) in early March. Proprietor Art Romero, who owns the retail shop at 103 N. Tejon St., but sold his original downtown location at 106 E. Kiowa St., last year to "focus on growth," says he's partnered with four other Air Force Academy grads, creating a 5-percent give-back from profits to cadet programs.
• Also now open inside Chapel Hills Mall: SilverHawk Tea Company (silverhawktea.com). Owner Susan Holt says it's similar to the national Teavana chain but with "pricing that's much more appropriate for Colorado Springs." She carries accessories and 50-plus loose-leaf teas (prepackaged for easy grab-and-go). Holt says she's meticulous in her sourcing, and will launch in-shop tastings and service soon.