I’m going to tell you all about Woody Creek Distillers in Basalt Colorado but first let me tell you why and what it has to do with fly fishing. Women bring a certain grace to fly fishing that reaches beyond rodeo-warm beer, a loaf of white-bread, and a package of bologna.
When women go on fly-fishing trips we roll with style and package our time on the water with good wine and spirits, fine dining, and concentrated shopping. When you come to Basalt, the official fly-fishing capital of the world and host to the 2013 World Fly Fishing Championship, I have a strong recommendation. You simply, must, must, spend some quality time at the WCD.
Let’s get to it - what makes Woody Creek Distillers Vodka so special? Hand crafted and batch distilled. And when I say “craft” it doesn’t get much craftier than growing your own heirloom potatoes and getting them into the distillery within 48 hours of harvest for processing. That’s right, I said potatoes – not grains. The majority of the vodkas you find on the shelf today are made from neutral grain spirits and mass produced ethanol also known as NGS. Woody Creek Spirits wouldn’t be caught dead near a NGS and each and every bottle of Woody Creek Spirits is made with ingredients grown from Rocky Mountain soil. I’m sure their profit margin would be higher if they did it the other way but doing it this way means the product can’t be replicated anywhere in the world; a spirit that can only come from Woody Creek.
Woody Creek Distillers is the first and only craft distillery in the United States with control over every element of vodka production. In addition to growing their own makings, they source local fruits, and mountain spring water to produce ultra-premium American spirits. I can take you by the hand and walk from my house to show you the lush field in which these potatoes are grown in this rich ground with warm days and cool nights which makes a very happy potato and a happy potato makes very happy vodka, and very happy tasters. Blind-folded you would swear you’re drinking a bourbon or a brandy; so round, so full, so not ethanol-ish.
An immaculate custom-made copper and stainless-steel distilling system spans two stories high and shines with pride while creating the purest spirits imaginable. The tasting room looks like the lobby of a big-city, four-star hotel but the cocktails are better and much more reasonable. You can order what may be the best martini you’ve ever had in your life or venture in to the livelier creations including cucumber, pomegranate, lemon-grass, or order the good-ol’ stand-by, a Bloody Mary, and see what they’re really supposed to taste like. (Hint- glass rimmed with bacon-flavored salt. And really, what goes better with a potato than bacon and salt?)
My first visit to WCD was a result of a rained out afternoon on the water. We thought a good “Plan B” would be to visit the distiller everyone was talking about. Had we known what was in store it’s likely the visit would have been “Plan A” from the get go. Not only did we enjoy the visit, love the cocktails, and harass the help, but the merchandise room turned out to be great shopping. They have a good selection of branded apparel including the usual shirts and hats but some unique stuff like dog collars and cutesy signs with sayings like, “You say tomato, I say Bloody Mary!” But the best gift to take home… a bottle of the good stuff. Invite some friends over for meat and “potatoes” and see what kind of story you’ll have to tell. See you on the water and see you at the Woody Creek Distillers!