Just a couple of days ago, we told you about the impending arrival of a fourth distillery for C-Springs
And just like that, now we have a fifth: 3 Hundred Days Distilling
. (Thanks to Pikes Peak Brewing assistant brewer Aly Hartwig
for bringing them to our attention.)
, 3HDD will produce god's great DIY gift: moonshine, and several flavors of it under the label 3 Hundred Days of Shine. The business will be located in Monument, at 279 Beacon Lite Road, Unit G.
Co-owner Liz Johnson, whose husband owns Denver's Whiskey Bar
, points to the collaborative nature of 3HDD, which involves six families in the ownership structure. But she quickly passes the mic to co-owner and distiller Michael Girard, who'll be more of the day-to-day operations face.
Girard, 42, just left
22 years in the Army — his last tour being in 2012 in Afghanistan, where he worked as an explosive ordnance disposal specialist (a job he held for 14 years). While deployed, he says "in your down time you have to find a hobby," so he began researching the history and methodology of distilling a few years ago.
"The chemistry side intrigued me because of my job in Iraq," he says, "when the homemade explosives thing started and was hurting a lot of my friends and co-workers." The Army taught him how to make and "deal with" explosives that can be made out of common household items, and the focus on how ingredients interact naturally fit well with a study into such factors as how yeasts and sugars interact and how to produce extractions from measured volumes.
On the history side, as a Montana native, Girard was intrigued by the lesser-known Western heritage of moonshine in particular, as most people think of places like Tennessee and Kentucky when they hear mention of the spirit. But he notes how in small towns like Lewistown, Mont., "every house had a still, and [though it was illegal and during prohibition] it was ignored — people made their own liquor."
In this area in particular, sugar beets rather than corn would provide the necessary wash as the moonshine base. In talking with friends, they shared stories of old stills in their grandfathers' attics and were even able to locate some recipes for Girard.
At 3HDD, he now uses a granulated white sugar and Colorado honey as his wash, and has incorporated recipe concepts from studying cookbooks as well. For example, in his apple pie moonshine (one of the more common flavors in the marketplace), he uses several extra ingredients, including vanilla, brown sugar and cinnamon.
Other planned flavors (that will be sold out of #HDD's tasting room in 750ml Mason jars at 40-proof for less than $20) include: peach cobbler, strawberry lemonade and sweet iced tea. Inside of the tasting room — handsomely dressed in local reclaimed fence wood — guests will also find tap-room-only specials like a wild berry or Hawaiian pineapple flavor.
3HDD remains in wait for its license to begin selling, but anticipates receiving it as early as a couple weeks from now, and hopefully no later than August 1. Girard needs about five days to turn around product; he'll be able to distill 52 gallons at a time off of two 26-gallon column reflux stills fabricated for him in Denver.
Girard also aims to create a benefit moonshine jug (1 liter) presented in a wooden box to raise money for the EOD Warrior Foundation
, which supports the families of fallen soldiers and those suffering from war-time injuries.
Courtesy Liz Johnson
Distiller/co-owner Michael Girard at his newly built bar.