Leopold Bros. reveals plans for expansion, a tasting room and a new spirit

Todd also notes that the landscaping assignment belongs to Bob, his father and a Harvard grad architect, who considers this his new pet project. "I'm so excited to do this with my dad. He's absolutely beaming, and so am I. We all are." And his mom will have a "nice office to do the books," he says.

Toddnotes.jpg
Lori Midson
Todd Leopold's illustrations.
But Todd may be most energized (and animated) by the fact that the plant will incorporate traditional floor malting, which originated in Great Britain in the nineteenth century, and to explain how it works, he grabs a pen and starts doodling on a Steuben's menu, drawing arrows, diagrams and calculations to help me understand exactly what floor malting is. "It's making malt on-site," he tells me."Think of 2,000 pounds of malt, soaking it for four days in water and then spreading it out on the floor over 1,000 square feet." It then germinates, sprouts rootlets and then someone -- probably Todd -- pulls a rake through to to stop the rootlets from growing together. "Malting and mashing go hand-and-hand," he notes, divulging that the goal is to try and sell the surplus to other breweries.

And while there are plenty of big distilleries that would likely offer the Leopold Brothers gazillions of dollars to purchase their sustainable, environmentally-conscious small-batch distillery, Todd says that he'll never sell. Ever. "This is a family-run operation, and it always will be. We have absolutely no interest in money -- we look at it as capital, to build things, but money isn't our path. We got into making spirits because we love it," he stresses."Things are going so well for us -- we have so much fun -- why would we ever want to sell our business?"

Selling -- and distilling -- spirits, however, is a whole different matter, and the Leopold Brothers are now up to sixteen total, with another one on the way. And it's not vokda, it's not gin, and it's not whiskey. And for now, anyway, we're under oath to keep it under wraps -- but we can tell you that it'll be released this year, and you'll be able to sip it the bar and tasting room that the brothers plan to unleash next year, when they unveil the new plant.


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6 comments
yeahbooze
yeahbooze

Finally!  I am very excited for the tours and tasting room!

zombyboy
zombyboy

Wonderful news. I'm thrilled that they have made Denver their home.

Mantonat
Mantonat topcommenter

My two favorite things about the city of Denver right now are Leopold Bros and Il Mondo Vecchio. Nothing better on a summer evening on the patio than a little of both.

distiller
distiller

Respectfully, Manfrenjensen, that's not how fermentation works.  If it did, wine would taste like the internal combustion engines from the agricultural equipment that come within a couple of feet of the grapes during harvest and crushing.... and the same thing goes for all those cars driving on those Napa roads, "polluting" the grapes.   Same goes for beer, as both barley and hops are harvested with motorized equipment, and are shipped in "polluting" trucks.   

 

What Lori skipped over in the story, as it's far too boring and complicated for print, is that it's the wild yeast and bacteria that comes with these flowers and botanicals that I'm interested in.  Over time, these unique organisms will populate our wooden fermenters in minute quantities..... the reactions I'm interested in are when these wild organisms consume tiny quantities of the fermenting whiskey mash, they will produce things like organic acids, which will lead to fruity or spicy notes when they sit in a whiskey barrel for a few years.   Appreciate your interest in the process.  When we open, you should come by and I can explain the process in person.   Cheers!   Todd Leopold

bobbypinz
bobbypinz

I"ll certainly patronize a Leopold sippin room. Their spirits are amazing, some of the best Colorado products offered, and I admire Todd's passion. A very interesting story, thanks Lori!

Manfrenjensen
Manfrenjensen

The landscaping idea sounds lovely... One problem though: unless there is a HEPA-type filtration system on the air intake, the "terroir" he's looking for will taste a lot more like Commerce City than flowers.  At least the property will look nice, though.

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