Steamboat Whiskey Co. expands operations |

Steamboat Whiskey Co. expands operations

Steamboat Whiskey Co. will be expanding to take over Bucking Rainbow Outfitters and Peak Fitness Center in downtown Steamboat Springs.
Katie Berning

STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — Founder Nathan Newhall said changes coming to the Steamboat Whiskey Co. this summer will improve the distillery’s efficiency and allow the business to add much needed storage space.  

Steamboat Whiskey will be expanding into the space that used to house Peak Fitness Center at 1103 Lincoln Ave. as well as the space that had being used by a rafting company next door to the bar’s existing location at 55 11th St.

“We needed more room in order to make more barrels and so that we can add in a bottling line,” Newhall said.

Newhall said more space also will allow him to add machines to automate a process that is currently done by hand.

“It is one of the hardest parts of the whole process from a manpower perspective,” said Newhall, who opened the Steamboat Whiskey Co. in fall of 2017 with his wife, Jessica.

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Since then, the company has been producing a number of craft spirits including Ski Town Vodka, Sleeping Giant Gin, Sly Eye Rye, Steamboat Moonshine and Warrior Whiskey. The bar also offers creative cocktails made from the distillery’s offerings.

Improving the bottling process and adding more storage room will be the focus of most of the changes this summer and the project should be completed in early June. Newhall said customers should expect to see more changes down the line — possibly by this fall.

“We are hoping to make the customer experience a little better,” Newhall said. “We are going to try to move the entrance to Lincoln, and we have a plan where customers will essentially pass through all phases of the distillery and end up at the bar. They will go past the bottling line, the finished product. They will go past where all the barrels are being stored, and they will empty out into the bar where they will be able to look through the window and see our distillery.”

But many of this summer’s changes may go by unnoticed by most.

A new water line has been added that will increase water pressure and allow the business to add sprinklers and in turn increase production. The city of Steamboat Springs is also currently improving the sidewalks along 11th Street. When finished, new 10-foot sidewalks will run in front of the business.

“Everybody has been asking if we are going to put in a restaurant. The truth of the matter is that we are not restaurateurs,” Newall said. “We are distillers, and we feel like our facility already brings something great to town, and we just want to make this better for the customers that come in.”

The Steamboat Whiskey Co. has a full bar and serves small plates for food.

“We are not a full-service restaurant, but we are a full-service bar,” Newall said. “We have a really fancy cocktail program, and I would say we are at the tip of the spear when it comes to cocktailing in Steamboat … I may be able to make a great spirit in the distillery but then they can transform it into something really magical.”

To reach John F. Russell, call 970-871-4209, email or follow him on Twitter @Framp1966.

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