Coloradoan

Distillers to hold festival in Loveland to promote craft
Loveland’s Dancing Pines Distillery will host tribute to ‘liquid arts’

Dancing Pines Distillery employee Jacob McGee explains how the still works as he takes visitors on a tour Thursday in downtown Loveland. The distillery will host the first annual Liquid Arts Festival to showcase locally made spirits on Dec. 9.

Dancing Pines Distillery employee Jacob McGee explains how the still works as he takes visitors on a tour Thursday in downtown Loveland. The distillery will host the first annual Liquid Arts Festival to showcase locally made spirits on Dec. 9. / Dawn Madura/For Loveland Connection

Written by David Young

LOVELAND — Colorado craft distillers are coming together next month for the first annual Liquid Arts Festival in downtown Loveland to showcase spirits made locally.

Loveland-based Dancing Pines Distillery is hosting the inaugural event Dec. 9 in the Bonnell Building, 129 E. Fourth St., to raise awareness of the growing craft spirits market in Colorado.

There are 10 Colorado distillers expected to attend the event, including Boulder, Denver, Greeley, Loveland and Palisade distillers. Attendees can taste beverages ranging from gin to absinthe and buy a full bottle of those spirits available for tasting.

Kimberly Naslund, founder of Dancing Pines Distillery, said that Stranahans Colorado Whiskey, a Denver distillery that will not attend the event, helped raise awareness of micro-distilling and pave the way for other local distillers such as Dancing Pines.

“I think that Stranahans opened people’s eyes to the fact that spirits can be made here,” Naslund said. “The idea is to get people aware of all the good spirits made in Colorado.”

One of those spirits is Greeley-based Syntax Spirits, which considered Fort Collins before opening in Greeley less than a year ago.

Syntax owner Heather Bean said Naslund invited them to join the first Liquid Arts Festival and saw it as a great opportunity to get her vodka out there.

“I see craft distilling going like craft brewing was 20 years ago. I can still get in on the ground level without millions of dollars. It is growing quickly, and Northern Colorado is a great place to be and people seem to like craft beer and wine,” Bean said.

Other distillers expected to attend include Downslope Distilling, Breckenridge Dis-tillery and Peach Street Distillers.

Naslund said the proliferation of local distillers is, in part, due to Coloradans buying local and the good local market for craft beers.