The Hidden Gems of Denver: Local Spirits You Need to Try at Joy Wine & Spirits

Since opening our doors in 1963, Joy Wine & Spirits has prided itself on showcasing the finest and most unique offerings in the world of alcohol. Nestled in the heart of Denver, we’ve watched the city’s spirits scene flourish, evolving into a diverse and dynamic landscape of local craftsmanship. In this spirit of celebration, we invite you on a journey through the hidden gems of Denver’s local spirits scene, featuring an exclusive collection available at Joy Wine & Spirits.

Breckenridge – The Mountain Whisperer

Breckenridge Distillery, nestled in the heart of the Rocky Mountains, crafts spirits that embody the rugged, adventurous spirit of Colorado. Their bourbon, a harmonious blend of corn, rye, and barley, is a testament to the local environment, capturing the essence of crisp mountain air and pristine waters. This rare spirit, with its smooth finish and subtle hints of vanilla and caramel, exemplifies the best spirits Denver offers.

Cap Rock – The Organic Virtuoso

At Cap Rock, the focus is on organic, high-quality ingredients. Their gin, a melody of hand-selected botanicals, is a standout. The juniper-forward profile, coupled with an elegant floral essence, offers a refreshing and unique take on the classic gin. Cap Rock’s commitment to organic produce not only elevates their spirits but also aligns with a deeper environmental consciousness, making them a local favorite.

Locke and Co – The Rye Revolutionaries

Locke and Co. are masters of rye whiskey, and their dedication to this often-overlooked spirit is commendable. Their Aspen-aged Rye, a nod to Colorado’s iconic tree, showcases a balance of spice and sweetness, unrivaled in depth and complexity. This local spirit serves as a reminder of Denver’s innovative and forward-thinking approach to distillation.

Leopold Bros – The Artisan Alchemists

Leopold Bros is a name synonymous with artisanal quality. Their meticulously crafted spirits, especially their Small Batch American Whiskey, are a testament to their dedication to the craft. Each batch, a careful composition of flavors and aromas, is a rare spirit that tells a story of tradition, innovation, and excellence – the hallmarks of Denver’s spirit scene.

Laws Whiskey House – The Grain-to-Glass Pioneers

Laws Whiskey House stands out for its grain-to-glass philosophy. Every bottle of their Four Grain Bourbon speaks of their commitment to quality and authenticity. This local spirit, made from heirloom grains and aged to perfection, offers a robust and complex profile, a must-try for any whiskey enthusiast seeking the best spirits in Denver.

Shanahan’s – The Exclusive Blend

Shanahan’s, known for their exclusive and rare spirits, offers a whiskey that is as unique as it is flavorful. This blend, available only at select locations like Joy Wine & Spirits, is a hidden gem of the Denver spirits scene. Its rich, full-bodied profile, characterized by notes of oak and honey, makes it a sought-after treasure for collectors and connoisseurs alike.

Distillery 291 – The Rocky Mountain Innovator

Distillery 291 brings a touch of the Wild West to modern distilling. Their Colorado Whiskey, a blend of tradition and innovation, is aged using charred American oak staves, imparting a distinct smokiness and depth. This spirit is a true embodiment of the Colorado spirit, reflecting the state’s history and the ingenuity of its people.

Family Jones – The Craft Spirit Connoisseurs

Lastly, Family Jones epitomizes the craft spirit movement. Their dedication to small-batch production results in exceptionally crafted spirits, such as their Spirit of Jones, a testament to their meticulous approach. Each sip reveals layers of complexity and craftsmanship, making it a must-have for those seeking to explore the pinnacle of Denver’s local spirits.

At Joy Wine & Spirits, our commitment to supporting and showcasing local distilleries is unwavering. We believe that these local spirits are not just bottles on a shelf but stories of passion, dedication, and community. Each distillery we’ve featured represents a unique aspect of Denver’s spirit landscape, contributing to the rich tapestry that makes our city’s alcohol scene one of the best in the country.

In a world increasingly dominated by mass-produced spirits, the rare spirits from these local distilleries offer a refreshing and authentic alternative. Whether you’re a seasoned connoisseur or a curious newcomer to the world of spirits, our collection at Joy Wine & Spirits promises an exploration into the heart and soul of Denver’s distilling artistry.

We invite you to visit us and embark on a taste journey through Denver’s finest. Discover the hidden gems, savor the best spirits, and join us in celebrating the local craftsmanship that makes our city truly unique. Remember, at Joy Wine & Spirits, you’re not just buying a bottle – you’re becoming a part of Denver’s vibrant and evolving spirits story.

Whether you are in search of a bottle for a special occasion, a gift for a fellow enthusiast, or simply looking to expand your palate, Joy Wine & Spirits is your gateway to the extraordinary world of Denver’s local spirits. Our knowledgeable staff are always on hand to guide you through our extensive selection and share the stories behind each bottle.

In a city rich with history and brimming with innovation, Joy Wine & Spirits stands proud as a beacon for the finest local and rare spirits. Join us in our journey through the hidden gems of Denver, and experience the unparalleled excellence that our local distilleries have to offer.

Joy of Beer: Baere Brewing Co,

Joy Wine and Spirits is proud to be announcing the inaugural beer themed email newsletter. Titled The Joy of Beer, this weekly email will bring attention to recent arrivals, upcoming showcases, distinct brewery spotlights and other beer themed points of interest. We hope to bring further interest to beer and the culture that surrounds it within the local market here in Denver, Colorado.

We hope you savor The Joy of Beer.


All Baere Brewing Company beers are offered at a discount until August 20th.
There is a iconic setting that comes to mind when imagining the ideal setting for farmhouse beers. Whimsical images of weathered wooden structures, sun baked fieldworkers and pure dedication by members of a long family lineage; all for the sake of upholding the art of fermented beverages. The ‘old-world’ of beer, one built from links of tradition and insight of knowledge only lead by example. While this purity contributes to the foundation of a perception, it shouldn’t be held as the only image that defines a story; it’s a scrapbook of collective history and one that is still in the progress of being completed.

One of Colorado’s most intriguing, singular and engaging breweries isn’t found miles down a winding dirt road. No livestock is held on their property nor will you find any rusted windmills, fields of golden wheat or even a house located on a farm for that matter. The heat of the sun is apparent but instead radiates upward from the asphalt, farm-hands are replaced by those wrangling freshly emptied whiskey barrels and the shingles that hold up this roof also provide shelter to a nail salon and a communal laundry mat.

What if we told you that Denver’s most exciting Sour and Wild Ale producers was housed in a strip mall on South Broadway?

Many would probably believe us considering the following Denver locals already have for the recently turned 3 year old brewery; Baere Brewing Company. Located at 320 Broadway Unit E Denver, CO 80203, this quant location is quite fitting considering the modern dedication for styles that were created hundreds of years ago. While some hop forward offerings can be had directly at the brewery itself, we at Joy Wine and Spirits are focusing on the bottled creations that we currently now have to offer at the store.

These beers are accented by wild yeast, souring bacteria and even influenced by lengthy time spent in oak barrels. It is striking to find a brewery than can not only offer a wide spectrum of options but also have a pleasing variance of intensities along the way. We wanted to take a moment to showcase these beers and offer our thoughts on the details that each of the different bottles represent.


Saison- Showcasing all the traits that represent what we love about the Saison style; this beer is lush with rounded carbonation, inviting with floral aromas and just tart enough to have a crisp edge that holds long into the refreshing finish. Extra layers of complexity arise from the fact that the beer is bottle conditioned with wild yeast. This highly delightful beer is inviting and fresh and yet still surprises with perks of brilliant complexity.

Dry Hopped Saison- This beer is essentially Saison only slightly escalated due to the fact of having been dry-hopped with the Cascade derivative of Hallertau Blanc. Fragrant Aromas of stone fruit and green appleS are apparent and only continue to entice as the beer warms and showcases lingering lemongrass and ginger high notes. Bone-dry on the palate, and just like the base Saison beer: very delightful to drink from the highly attenuated texture.

Tart Saison- Further evolution of the Saison recipe comes from the addition of souring bacteria to define the aptly named Tart Saison. While the grip of lactic acid, a type that brings to mind juicy grapefruit and plums, is pleasing and invigorating, the most dynamic aspect of this beverage comes from the remarkable aroma. Mangoes, passionfruit and nectarines are apparent but so is a rounded floral tone that showcases a wide degree of elegance.

It should be noted that the carbonation of all the Saison beers is wonderfully energetic and quite lively. The beers should be stored chilled for at least 24 hours before being opened and a glass should be at the ready. True to the style; these beers are quite effervescent and escape from the bottle with haste.

Blackberry Table Sour- Not all Kettle Sours should be treated the same! This beer exhibits significant focus with razor sharp acidity and a lightness that makes it so nice for lunchtime fare or casual endeavors within a park (be it National or Public…). The fruit is present but never intrusive and only signifies the high tonality of the style.

Four Grains- It’s quite apparent that Baere has an affinity to the whiskies from Law’s Whiskey House. Their barrel room is a collection of Law’s branded oak and this beer is a direct embracement of the flagship Four Grain Whiskey. Four Grains is brewed using Corn, Wheat, Rye and Barley with the final product then aged over 6 months in a fresh Law’s Four Grain whiskey barrel. The final result is uncanny.

Immense with complexity and singular with uniqueness. Dark fruits, pineapple, dried apricots are explosive on the nose, ripe and rich on the palate with a caramelized flavor reminiscent of those lovely ‘crystals’ found in aged cheeses (All bow to the Tyrosine). Honey and toasted brioche linger on the tongue as one’s mind tries to comprehend the beer’s nearly 15% alcohol percentage. The tremendous deliciousness factor might come by way of Brettanomyces being apparent, and rightfully so; significant lift, a stunning finish and ultimately one of the most tremendous beers that can almost be seen as a new standard for the category.

Duplicitous– Intense flavors of roasted grains, acrid and somewhat ash driven but still with a high note of green apple and peppercorns. Duplicitous is full with texture but light on the finish considering the degree of acidity. Spice driven, somewhat ‘tangy’ with a rye sort of kick and a long leather sort of finish makes this a lovely beer to pair with anything off the grill or massive blue cheeses.

Ceribruin; Cannebruin; Frambruin– These three beers share a similar base of a Sour Brown Ale that was fermented and aged in oak barrels only with a differing fruit source being added. Ceribruin gives off lush flavors of Kirsch and dried fruits from the addition of cherries. Cannebruin is lighter in texture, and acidity level, and comes off as integrated with Cranberry fruits being apparent but not overly intense.
Frambruin is bold with raspberries, lots of spice notes, immense concentration of red berries and a perceivable wood flavor that makes for a very intense experience.

Reciprocity Batch #1- The most recent barrel aged sour release from Baere just might be their shining achievement. The blending of a Golden Sour Ale and a Golden Rye Sour makes for a highly nuanced and blissfuly integrated offering. Dynamic with richness and oak but not at all distracting, the beer is over 10% abv but there is no alcohol apparent. Full in body and smooth upon the palate, acidity is high but comes off with a fullness that feels united without being overbearing. There is a lesson to learn from this beer as it speaks with grace and not one of belligerence. Somewhat sooting with delight; this beer showcases the pleasures of oak and their influence on Sours if allowed to properly mingle.

Reciprocity Batch #2- This batch was aged 100% in fresh Law’s Whisky Barrels. The spice notes are more apparent, the vanillin is a bit more pronounced and touch of lovely caramel corn sort of flavors only add to the high traits of the sour base. Bold oak wafts from the glass but it entices and pulls one in for another sip. This beer drinks much like a cocktail does with deep richness and sharp high tones both contributing to a final flavor that is captivating and downright delightful.

A brewery such as this invigorates as much as it inspires. The sense of passion through creation, a list of offerings that not only showcase significant representation of a style but also gives personal touches and ultimately allows for the end result to be one of pure pleasure. Baere Brewing Company is embracing crafts of generations prior while redefining Denver’s beer scene with each new offering.

Finally, All Baere Brewing beers will be offered at a discount until August 20th.


Some great beers to be found this week-

Fresh crowlers from Weldwerks, both Juicy Bits and Hoppy Wheat.
Cascasde’s Crazy Navel finds its way on our shelves, loads of complexity and enticing fragrant tones.
Two Road mixed 12 packs are finally available.
Evil Twin/Omnipollo Old Fashioned Lemonade makes a return.
Evil Twin’s Big Ass Money Stout will make you break a sweat in this heat, one that feels so good…
Firestone Walker/Beavertown West Coast Beavo is a major delight of a hopped up Lager.
A fresh batch of Fremont’s Lush IPA brings a smile to all our faces as does the arrival of a particularly amazing barrel aged concoction. Bottles of The Rusty Nail just might be floating around….

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