Steamboat Whiskey Co. gets first taste of Lincoln Avenue
STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — It’s Thursday night, and all the seats at the bar are full, which puts a smile on owner Nathan Newhall’s face as people just keep walking through the front doors of the recently relocated and renovated Steamboat Whiskey Co.
“We loved the feel of our old space,” Nathan said of the small bar he and wife, Jessica, opened in the fall of 2017 on 11th Street.
“We hopefully will be able to retain some of that feeling in the new space,” Nathan said.
Steamboat Whiskey Co. shares a building with Bucking Rainbow Outfitters, which will continue to run rafting operations out of a small space in the building during the summer months. The rest of the building houses a new bar, a production facility with a still and storage.
The front of the building, which used to be home to Peak Fitness, is now a 2,000-square-foot bar with room for bands, fundraisers and social gatherings. The bar opens at 2 p.m. Mondays through Fridays and at noon on Saturdays and Sundays.
Nathan said the new bar will continue to serve up the best his distillery offers along with shared plates that include Tiki toasties, an antipasto plate, deconstructed crab rangoons and bison chili. For those with a sweet tooth, the bar offers whiskey-infused salted caramel and dark chocolate cakes.
“I didn’t really want to lose the coziness, but we needed more space. We would fill up so fast,” Jessica said of the move upfront. “We have a few more tables and a little bit more room. We really wanted to just keep it the same, because people liked what we were doing here.”
For Nathan, the new space is a chance to showcase what happens in the distillery, which is still located in the back of the same building. Steamboat Whiskey Co. offers tastings and tours. Those wanting to learn more about the production of whiskey, vodka and gin can request a tour by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
The layout of the new space features a full bar, several tall tables and an inviting open space. The owners are looking forward to offering live music once a month and will also host a comedy night that will be incorporated into the third Tiki Tuesday each month.
But Nathan said the best part of the bar is that it provides a spotlight for Steamboat Whiskey’s award-winning lineup of top-shelf spirits, which are used to create some of the establishment’s most popular cocktails, including the Mountain Smoke Manhattan, a tasty blend of Warrior Whiskey, sweet vermouth, blended bitters and smoke, and the Smoked Walnut Old Fashioned, a blend of Warrior Whiskey, walnut bitters, honey, cherry and smoke.
“The bar is really here to showcase the spirits to give an introduction to the brand, the company, to our story and to Jessica and I and all the work that we put into this,” Nathan said. “Hopefully, we will also showcase a little bit of Steamboat as well.”
The bar’s cosmopolitans are made with Ski Town Vodka and a New York Sour features Warrior Whiskey and house triple sec. Their menu also offers a light and bubbly section and a curative area featuring drinks created using CBD oils. Customers can also choose from several seasonal selections, and there is beer on tap as well as wine.
Nathan said customers can also buy bottles, including a few choices that can’t be found anywhere else, at the downtown location, and he will offer recipes to make their tasty cocktails at home.
“When our customers walk in our bar we want it to feel like it’s always 10 p.m. and it is very much speakeasy-ish,” Jessica said. “We actually wanted to keep the vibe the same and just move it upfront.”
Jessica is also hoping the new space will allow Steamboat Whiskey Co. donate more to veteran’s charities.
“When Jess and I first got the idea for the distillery in 2012, the first idea was to provide a space for disabled veterans to work,” Nathan said. “It became really apparent that we didn’t have the money to make those accommodations, right now. But our next facility, if we ever build a beer distillery, we will try very, very hard to provide jobs for people that might not be able to get into the industry otherwise, because of a disability.”
Until then Nathan and Jessica say they will continue to host benefits like the Puppy Pageants, which benefited the Routt County Humane Society. The will also continue to donate a portion of every sale to veterans charities and help where they can.
“A portion of the profits from every bottle sold goes to veteran charities,” Nathan said. “It gives an opportunity for everybody to be part of something bigger.”
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