A look inside Steamboat Whiskey Company

The Steamboat Whiskey trio of Albert Rayle and Jessica and Nathan Newhall.

This story originally ran in Steamboat Living magazine. 

Ski Town Vodka, Sleeping Giant Gin, Sly Eye Rye, Steamboat Moonshine…yep, Steamboat finally has a craft distillery, and naming rights, like runs at the ski area, come with the territory.

Steamboat Whiskey Company, a distilling dream come true for founders Nathan and Jessica Newhall, opened this fall at 55 11th Street, bringing craft liquor a cork’s pop from Lincoln Avenue.

“We make high-quality spirits by hand, batch by batch, using traditional methods in our American-made pot still,” Nathan says. “We’re a distillery and a pub, one of just a handful in the state.”

The Newhalls moved here from the Midwest in 2015 after an epiphany on their honeymoon. Already making spirits for three years, Nathan — who had skied Steamboat since he was a child — thought why not do so in Steamboat?

In January of 2015 they began looking for a location. “We needed somewhere with headspace, character and history,” he says. They found it in a building that used to house Rummagers, built in 1947 as Steamboat’s first ranching co-op. “It was one of few in downtown that had the head space we needed while retaining its original industrial look,” Nathan says.

With fellow Navy veteran Albert Rayle coming on as a partner, this spring they began casking their first American whiskey, a 100-proof bourbon and rye blend, as well as distilling Ski Town Vodka. With its retail space opening in September, and its cocktail bar opening in early October, by ski season it plans to have its moonshine, gin and a honey-based spirit available (it also served 1,500 Ski Town Mules at Oktoberwest.)

“Our whole goal is to have something for everyone, not just the whiskey buffs,” he says, touting Steamboat’s straight-from-the-Continental-Divide water as the perfect ingredient. “We’re excited to bring our hand-crafted spirits to Steamboat.”



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