First look: CapRock Farm Bar opens Tuesday at the Source -- and whiskey is on the horizon

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All photos by Lori Midson.

Lance Hanson is a self-described "classics nerd." And he parlayed that interest into a job teaching Latin to high school kids, eventually giving up academia to pursue a career in the software business, which made him, well, rich -- rich enough, at least, to "dive off the deep end and try something nuts," he quips.

See also: First look: Babette's Artisan Breads rises at the Source

In 2001, he and his wife, Anna, moved to Hotchkiss, Colorado, a pastoral town in the North Fork Valley that's steeped in vineyards, orchards, farms and ranches, and the reason behind the move, says Hanson, was rooted in a dream to build a small-estate winery. "My wife and I had been living in Northern California, so we were into wine as consumers, and we knew we wanted to be in a rural area and try something new and risky, so we started planting vineyards and making wine, and it went well," says Hanson. It went so well, in fact, that he started his own winery, Jack Rabbit Hill, the grapes of which he harvests from the vines that grow on his 72-acre, biodynamic farm.

In late 2004, a year after selling his first bottle of wine at the farmers' market in Aspen, Hanson was at a crossroads: "Things were progressing, and we were at a point where we could either step up our wine production, or diversify -- and we decided to diversify," explains Hanson, who began to explore eau-de-vie, distilled, un-aged, fermented brandies that are made with fruit other than grapes. "We had all of this wonderful orchard fruit right outside our front door, we knew how to ferment, and we had all of the equipment except a small still, so we got one of those and started distilling," he says.

He started with brandies and followed up with grappa, and while his customers praised both, they wondered, admits Hanson, if they were too nitch-y. "Everyone loved them, but the feedback I kept getting was that we should do something more mainstream," says Hanson, who distills his spirits under the Peak Spirits label. "They encouraged us to make vodka and gin, and since we had the fruit, the seeds, the roots and the flowers close to where the farm is, we figured why not?"


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CapRock Farm Bar

3350 Brighton Blvd., Denver, CO

Category: Restaurant

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3 comments
WillieStortz
WillieStortz

I sure hope these places going into The Source are getting a great deal on rent because that is the oddest location for a restaurant I have ever seen. 


When you think organic, farm to table the last thing you expect is such a cold industrial space located in a run down industrial section of town, next door to a used plumbing store and a used tire store. 


I love the concept of all these food purveyors but as anyone who has worked in the restaurant industry knows location is often more important than the product you put out. I've seen many horrible restaurants succeed with a great location and many great places fail do to a bad location. It's hard to think of a worse location than The Source.

Renee H. Brown
Renee H. Brown

LOVE Cap Rocks Organic Gin! Look forward to checking this out!

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