Tag Archive for Colorado flooding

Spirit Hound Distillers at Boettcher Mansion

Mayor Gierlach and Neil Sullivan, Co-Founder of Spirit Hound Distillers, at Boettcher Mansion

Mayor Gierlach and Neil Sullivan, Co-Founder of Spirit Hound Distillers, at Boettcher Mansion

After Governor Hickenlooper came to Nederland last week, I figured the least I could do, was return the favor, attend the holiday celebration at the Governor’s residence, and thank him once again. Upon arrival, I found my way to the bar and asked for a glass of Cabernet. The bartender said they didn’t have any. “Alright, how about a snifter of scotch, neat.” Didn’t have that either. “Martini? Shaken, not stirred?”

As it turns out, the bartender explained that the historic Boettcher Mansion has white marble floors that could get stained, so the owners of the estate only allow clear drinks. He added that the Governor had ordered Spirit Hound Gin for the mansion. I went with that.
[Related Story: Governor Hickenlooper’s visit to Nederland]
Spirit Hound Distillers, are a hand-crafted, micro-distillery, located in Lyons, Colorado, which was impacted by the flood. Here’s the write-up on their gin:

“Quite possibly the smoothest and most unique Gin out there, Spirit Hound Gin is made from only the finest locally sourced botanicals. Juniper berries, anise, fennel, clove, and cinnamon to name a few, are all hand selected from the earth of our sweet town in Lyons. We then craft our Gin using the rare ‘basket’ method, suspending our signature mix of botanicals in a delicate wire mesh basket in the column of the still.  The vaporized spirit then passes through this botanical basket and extracts their flavors. The result: a brighter, lighter gin bursting with aroma and flavor.”

I found this gin to be bright, fresh, smooth – the fennel/anise/clove notes are quite interesting, and compliments the Juniper very well. To that end, I can’t wait to try their whisky when I’m not in a white marbled mansion.
As I made my way around the Governor’s mansion, I had the pleasure of meeting Neil Sullivan, one of the co-founders of Spirit Hound Distillers, and we had a great conversation about the flood, mountain culture and local distinctiveness. Bringing back micro-distilleries, micro-breweries, and local groceries is appealing to me from a community sustainability perspective.
[Related Story: Holiday Celebration at the Governor’s Mansion (last year)]
Lyons and Nederland are similar in many ways – population, strong community volunteerism, proximity to Boulder and federal open space. There are a lot of connections between the two communities and many Nedheads attend RockyGrass at Planet Bluegrass every year. Personally, I’ve been a member of Stonebridge Farm CSA (Community Sponsored Agriculture) in Lyons, for over a decade and have stopped in at local shops on my way home many times (via the scenic route).
I would like to recommend that our Nederland liquor stores and restaurants carry Spirit Hound Distillers whisky and gin, and that Nedheads make a point to order it this holiday season as we look for unique ways for the region to recover from the flood. Click here for a list of where Spirit Hound is sold. Of course, drink responsibly, but if you are given the choice, think about choosing Spirit Hound Distillers. Trust me. You won’t be disappointed.
[Here is a Video Valediction] This is Steve Martin and The Steep Canyon Rangers performing Daddy Played the Banjo at Planet Bluegrass’ RockyGrass (2011) which was recorded on an iPhone by my friend. [What is a Video Valediction?]

COGA turns to Boulder Weekly with latest spin

The industry feebly attempts to remove egg on its collective face from flood coverage.

Editor’s Note:  The following appeared in the Boulder Weekly in response to a letter to the editor by Doug Flanders of the Colorado Oil and Gas Association  Flanders is the Director of Policy and External Affairs for COGA.  In layman’s lingo, he’s the go-to guy when COGA needs someone to trash those in Colorado who seek to protect their communities from the known dangers of fracking for oil and gas to health and the environment .


Flared gasOh, Mr. Flanders! I can’t figure out whether you’re wringing your hands in distress and bewilderment or in delight at being able, yet again, to take pot shots at the environment.  Yes, I wrote environment. I did not mean “environmentalists.”

I know a thing or two about the oil and gas industry. Once upon a time I had an insider’s look at it. So before you drip away in self-praise at your community-assistance motives, let me point out that your industry has a 40-plus-year history of spending millions upon millions upon millions of dollars to repair a badly bruised and battered public image. (Remember the 1970s?)

While those who are benefiting from the “assistance” that your mega-billion-dollar companies have contributed towards relief, auditors will find those write-offs buried in your accounting under a derivative of public relations.

You know that your alleged compassion and generosity goes well beyond helping your fellow man and his environment. If there were such genuine caring, your industry wouldn’t be creating the environmental chaos that you inflict each and every day.

Methane released into the air that is damaging to human health as ozone and to the climate even more than carbon dioxide. Chemicals thrust into the ground and brought back up that are causing serious illness to children and adults alike. Total disregard of communities’ rights to self-determination. Perhaps we should do an amputation of your industry’s collective middle finger. Would that it were just that easy.

Your partner-in-crime Tisha Schuller looked to be agonizing when interviewed during television reporting on oil spills, tanks tipped and overturned, berms that allegedly contain contamination washed into farmland and waterways in the aftermath of the flooding. While Ms. Schuller was telling the viewing audience “Don’t worry, be happy,” the cut-aways were showing such images. Now really, Mr. Flanders, do you expect us to believe her — and you?

So as a reaction to your public relations disaster from the flood, you pulled out your Rapid Response Team to come up with an approach to remedy the bruises from falling on your faces. Those dastardly ordinary citizens — moms, dads, grandpas, grandmas, doctors, nurses, neighbors, friends — all those people who dare to point out the obvious and according to you and your mouthpieces are using a disaster to drive home a reality that you don’t want in public consciousness. Your industry causes damage — to people’s health and safety, to the environment, to the climate, to the air we breathe and water we drink and use to grow our food. And you will continue to cause that damage until you are stopped. We plan to do just that. And we will do it with truth, justice and the truly American way — not with lie on top of lie on top of lie, not by calling in chits with elected officials, not with lawsuits where the only intent is to deprive people and communities of their rights and well-being. You are on the wrong side of history, Mr. Flanders of the Colorado Oil and Gas Association, the wrong side.