LEOPOLD BROTHERS DISTILLERY VISIT- NATE PAGE, BAR MANAGER
The brand new, self-designed Leopold Brothers distillery in Denver is a living embodiment of equal parts meticulous attention to detail and true passion. The facility was built from the ground up spanning several city blocks and was designed to truly last. Just as much attention was paid to efficiency of process, for example, in order to produce one liter of spirits the average operation wastes six to twenty liters of water. Every ounce of water in the Leopold facility is recycled, filtered and recaptured, turning their water usage from the industry standard into a pinnacle of efficiency at 1.5-1!
The Leopold brothers started out in the bar and beer brewing business in Michigan. With an eagerness to grow and expand they moved their home to Colorado to begin distilling. When the brothers were able to purchase their first still, Todd traveled to Germany where their order was being hand crafted. He spent three years expanding his knowledge and watching a master metal smith literally hammer what would become the heartbeat of a passion. The distillery is operated by a meager team of eleven, none of whom are family. Some of the team members have been with the brothers since Michigan. Leopold Brothers now ships throughout the world.
When I arrived with Chef David, Grouse Mountain Grill restaurant manager, Kyle, Executive Sous Chef, Joey and Pastry Chef, Jes, to view and tour the facility, the impression from our first steps was astounding. Our gracious host, Taryn, was a marvel of knowledge. She was patient with our extensive questions and was generous to share with us even the tiniest of details. None of this really matters without the product quality, which is where the passion really shines through. After tasting though their entire product line, close to 30 in number, nothing even came close to disappointing.
The most challenging aspect was how we could incorporate as much of their product into our bar program as possible. So, we started with the basics. Orange products, such as
Triple Sec and Cointreau, have been completely eliminated and replaced by Leopold American Orange. They use three different types of oranges and work directly with farmers to acquire the raw fruit. As with all of their products, they never use glycerin or other common additives in distilling. In common with all of their products is less emphasis on sweetness and more of a harmonious capture of what makes a particular flavor “sing”.
Here at Grouse Mountain Grill, we are proud to use this brand and look forward to how they will continue to play a role in our libations!