A Tasty Tour of Colorado Libations and Food

The inaugural Colorado Spirits Trail Festival last year. Photos: Neill Pieper

The inaugural Colorado Spirits Trail Festival last year. Photos: Neill Pieper

60-Plus Distilleries Featured Under One Roof

By Natasha Lovato 

The Colorado Distillers Guild will launch this year’s Colorado Spirits Trail in a kick-off festival this Friday. Over 60 guild members will gather together and offer attendees a taste of Colorado with unlimited samples, tasty bites and music.

Dawn Richardson, Colorado Spirits Trail ambassador and owner of Rising Sun Distillery, wrote the grant to jumpstart the trail with the goal of extending the event for years to come. 

“People can look forward to the trail year after year. We want you to see the state and enjoy the journey,” Richardson said. 

The Colorado Spirits Trail offers adventure seekers and libation lovers a chance to sip their way through the state as they follow the trail map from Steamboat Springs, to Durango, and even a small detour to Santa Fe, New Mexico. Everyone who visits 10 distilleries on the trail can hand their stamped map in for a t-shirt. Completed map owners will also be entered into monthly drawings for free bottles.  

More than 800 people showed up for last year’s opening-day trail event and Richardson hopes to beat that number on Friday.

“Because of last year’s success and the support of the Colorado Tourism Office, we are hoping to make this year even more successful,” she said. “We want to show off the growing industry but also how great our state is.”


According to Sean Smiley, owner of State-38 Distilling and president of the Colorado Distillers Guild, Colorado’s guild is the largest in the country and he sees great opportunity for the craft spirits scene to grow. 

“The festival is a unique opportunity to enjoy spirits from all over the state while having a chance to meet the distillers who craft them,” Smiley said.  

The Colorado Distillers Guild is a non-profit association promoting the licensed distilling industry in Colorado, serving to educate the general public about Colorado distillers and providing valuable information to its members regarding laws and other provisions. 

Start the journey from 6-10 p.m. on May 17 at the McNichols Building at the Colorado Spirits Trail Festival.