Friday, April 1, 2011

Vodka and cider

Posted By on Fri, Apr 1, 2011 at 12:36 PM

• First up, congrats are in order for Manitou Springs-based Colorado Vodka, who just won a gold medal at the San Francisco World Spirits Competition.


You can view a full list of the double gold, gold, silver and bronze winners out of some 1,106 product entrants from 61 countries here:

According to a media release, this is the type prestige the event holds:

The San Francisco World Spirits competition has annually evaluated and rated the world’s best spirits products from around the globe. This year’s competition featured a record number of entrants, which were evaluated by 33 international judges comprised of spirits experts from noted restaurants, hotels, well-known spirits journalists, spirits buyers for large purveyors and spirits consultants. Judging is based on a blind tasting to ensure competitive integrity. The San Francisco World Spirits Competition is considered to be the most reputable and recognized competition in the international spirits industry.

I congratulated owners Rob and Gail Stephens (former Stagecoach Inn and Craftwood Inn owners) and via a brief e-mail correspondence, Gail said, "We're thrilled. We think this really demonstrates that a master distiller with full bottling capabilities combined with our mountain spring water can produce a great vodka at an affordable price."

I also double-checked my memory from a conversation a few years ago with Rob, confirming that the product is actually made out of state: " Yes," wrote Gail. "Our producer in California is arguably one of the finest in the Country but this award now provides us the impetus to bring this technology and quality home to Colorado. We are determined to establish a production facility in Colorado that will provide the level of quality equal to any premium brand ... For years we have been dedicated to providing a full Colorado experience in both food and beverage. We are very proud to be a Manitou Springs based Corporation and want to thank all the locals for their continued support and enjoyment of our product."

• Second, while on the topic of booze, I received a small press release (and a free sticker — oh boy!) today from the Denver-based Colorado Cider Company.

The company's website still only has a homepage that says "coming soon," though the release has the company as founded in 2010.

The release also promotes its introductory hard cider "with a residual sweetness from adding fresh juice to the naturally dry cider before bottling." It's called Glider Cider.

Also, the company is launching a Glider Dry, without the added juice: "the tanins from our bittersweet blend come through to give it a nice, dry finish."

Supposedly, both are already available in 22-ounce bombers and on draft "in select locations" (good luck finding them on the yet-to-be-launched website).

The cidermaker for the outfit is Brad Page, who is one of the founding brewers at Fort Collins' Coopersmith's Pub.

Beginning with the 2011 harvest, the company aims to use as many Colorado-grown apples as possible.

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