Drink like a Blue Fish
The Springs' sixth distillery — after Distillery 291, Axe and the Oak, 3 Hundred Days of Shine, Lee Spirits Co. and Black Bear Distillery — has received its Distilled Spirits Plant (DSP) license and is eyeing an end-of-year opening. Blue Fish Distillery (5745 Industrial Place, 651-0762) will be the product of John Fisher, a former mechanical engineer who most recently worked locally for Westone, a company that makes high-end ear buds and custom hearing aids.
"I decided I needed something else to do," he says, "and I've always been interested in spirits. A friend and I tried making moonshine in high school. We were very unsuccessful."
For that he blames the pre-Internet era, when information on such illegal DIY crafting wasn't as readily available. But this go-round, he's approaching it all legit, having finished a crash-course at Centennial's Downslope Distilling Distillery School in late 2014.
He also has to finish label approval and some further paperwork with the city before he'll be ready to open the doors to a tasting room.
"We'll make that trip to the DMV more bearable," he jokes, in a nod to his location just off Powers Boulevard, neighboring the state facility.
As for how those line-weary folk will find refuge: Blue Fish plans to launch with a barley-and-sugar-based vodka, yet-to-be-finalized white rum and corn-based white whiskey.
Future plans call for specialty variations such as single-barrel batches and a Westlake Rice Vodka inspired by time that Fisher spent in Hangzhou, China.
Overall, he says he wants to remain a relatively small distillery, likely limiting to statewide distribution.
America the Beeriful
Two beer events are coming to America the Beautiful Park (126 Cimino Drive):
• The ninth annual Springs Beer Fest (springsbeerfest.com), from 1 to 4 p.m., Saturday, Aug. 1, features more than 50 brewers, most hailing from Colorado. Tickets are $35 (early), $40 (day-of) and $50 (VIP hour-early-entry) to sample unlimited. Food vendors will also be on hand, alongside live music.
• New Belgium Brewing returns to town at 7:30 p.m., Thursday, Aug. 6, for the Clips Beer & Film Tour (newbelgium.com/clips). Admission is free with a collection of short films playing at 9, food vendors on site and more than 15 Lips of Faith series and classic flagship brews on tap. A 3-ounce beer pour will be $1.50 and 12-ounce cups will be $6, with all proceeds benefiting Medicine Wheel Trail Advocates and UpaDowna. Just a few of the featured brews: a spiced chocolate porter, a pear-ginger beer and a wood-aged peach sour ale.