Author Archives: WagonWheeladmin

Our Local Wine, Beer and Liquor – Part 4!

As part of our own Keep Colorado Local campaign, we are going to introduce a few of our favorite local to Colorado spirits and the distilleries from which they come. Each distillery is as unique as the people behind them and focus on only one spirit type. Durango Craft Spirits has the rising Soiled Dove vodka, its name rich with history of the area. Montanya Distillery specializes in rum, and Honey House Distilleries creates a honey whiskey that the people in the area know ever so well. We have spoken about several beers and wines that are local to the area thus far in recent posts, and now want to introduce you to these high quality, locally produced liquors.

1. Montanya Distillers
The distillers of Montanya rum sit at an elegant 9000 feet in the heart of Crested Butte, Colorado. The non-GMO sugar cane used for the mash during production is purchased from family farmers in Louisiana that grow the sugarcane specifically for Montanya rum distillation. The stills used are very finely tuned for rum production and are composed of alembic copper. This crucial tool in the distillation hails from Portugal and the stills were specially ordered to intensify the flavor profile of this local rum. To learn more about the team at Montanya Distillers, visit their website.Durango Colorado local beer

2. Durango Craft Spirits
This is the home of Soiled Dove vodka which has become a major player in local markets. The non-GMO corn is harvested regionally by the Ute Mountain Ute Tribe. The still was designed specifically for this distillery and produced in Maine with parts entirely from the U.S. The logo on each bottle of finely crafted vodka sports a graphic of Silver Mountain, our home peak sitting in the heart of the beloved La Plata mountains. The term “soiled dove” that has so easily taken place as the name of the vodka is historically synonymous with “lady of the night”. Embracing one aspect of the rich mining history in Durango, the distillery fully embodies the essence of Durango. To read more about Durango Craft Spirits, visit their website.Durango Colorado local beer

3. Honey House Distillery
Honey House Distillery is home to the beloved honey whiskey and cinnamon honey whiskey that has been produced in Durango since 2012. All whiskey is produced in small batches to ensure the absolute best in quality, and unlike some honey whiskeys, the honey is actually incorporated into the mash to take full advantage of the honey’s flavor profile. To read more about the Honey House Distillery, visit their website.Durango Colorado local beer

At Wagon Wheel liquors, we are proud to host local beers, wines, and liquors for our patrons. We believe in the Keep Colorado Local movement and what it does for small merchants in the state. We want to help these brands grow by continuing to offer these liquor selections, among others, in our store. If you come visit us in the store, we’d love to help you find a new favorite local beverage.


Local Beer, Wine, Liquor Store in Durango Colorado

Our Local Wine, Beer, & Spirits – Part 3

Our featured seasonal beer this month is Fort Collins Brewery Oktoberfest: “A single decoction mash unleashes the complexity and depth of the Vienna, Munich and Caramel malts that create this beer’s distinct aroma and flavor. German noble hops balance this rich and malty lager with a bouquet of aromas. Prost!”

Local Colorado beer, Durango

Fort Collins Brewery’s Oktoberfest

For Part 3 in our series on beer, wine, and spirits, we dive deep into the local beer industry. Along with featuring some great local wines, at Wagon Wheel Liquors, we strive to provide you with the latest award-winning beers from around the Four Corners area. Over the past few decades, microbrews have become a huge success throughout Colorado. As we mentioned in a previous article, Colorado’s breweries are currently ranked as third on a list for beer lovers. So we’re not kidding when we say we know beer.

Fort Collins Brewery: Focused mainly on creating unique creations with ingredients from all over the world, Fort Collins Brewery has been a staple in this Colorado town since 2003. It was traditionally started a German lager house, but they have since met their success by having four full-time brews and incorporating seasonal and limited release brews. If you’re ever on the East slope, this brewery is definitely worth a visit. We currently feature their Rocky Mountain IPA and Oktoberfest brews. You can read more about this brewery by visiting their site here.

Ska Brewing Company: This local Durango, Colorado brewing company has been around now for 20 years (they just recently had their 20th-anniversary party) and has become a staple in our mountain town. Started back in 1995, when the current owners were still too young to purchase their own beer legally, they decided to create beer for the love of creating tasty beer. Ska is a staple in our Durango community and has now reached liquor stores all over the continental United States. We currently stock the classics like their True Blonde Ale, Modus Hoperandi, Buster Nut Brown Ale as well as their seasonal ales. You can learn more about the company here.

Durango Colorado local beer

Ska, in Durango, Colorado, is known for its unique and seasonal brews.

New Belgium Brewery: New Belgium is another East slope Colorado brewing company that has absolutely taken off and met huge success all over the nation. They recently created a beer and a matching ice cream with Ben & Jerry as well as being featured on PBS showcasing what it’s like for the company to be owned by the workers. This is a brewery that’s been around since 1991 and they’re definitely going places (read: expansion to Asheville). We recently feature over six different kinds of beer from this brewery – so stop in today!

Telluride Brewing Company: This brewery has been in the making for more than a decade in the gorgeous town of Telluride, Colorado (just a few short hours away from Durango). Their first beer was poured in 2012 – so they’re still young but don’t let that fool you! They regularly appear in beer festivals all over the country and have won several awards for their brew (already!). So don’t hesitate to try something new from these passionate local brewmasters! We currently have their Fishwater Double IPA in our store. You can read more about their brewery, their journey and brew on their website.

Marble Brewing Company: Based out of Albuquerque, this brewery has been around since 2008. They distribute throughout the Four Corners area and have won several awards from the Great American Beer Festival in 2014 and 2015. At Marble Brewing, they have anywhere from 6 to 20 different beers at any one point featured in their taproom and across the Four Corners states that are easy to find with their interactive “beer finder” function. We currently feature several different kinds of their brews, including their Pilsner and the Marble IPA.

At Wagon Wheel liquors, we strive to keep these local microbreweries well stocked throughout our store. Keeping Colorado local is important not only for us as a business but for all of the microbrews that we feature. With the popularity of microbrews and their national success, we can only hope that they will be around for a long time. We love seeing you get excited when we bring in a seasonal brew or a limited release brew from one of your favorite breweries. We wouldn’t be where we are without you! We are always open to featuring new and different breweries so drop us a line and let us know what you think we should feature.

Colorado Local and Proud with our Microbrew Fame!

With all of the recent growth in microbrews, it’s no wonder that Colorado is front and center. As a state, our interest in all things craft beer, have given us a solid name as a state that means beer-business. Microbrews abound throughout Colorado and the Four Corners area, leading our state to rank third in most microbrews per capita.

Colorado Craft Breweries per Capita

Photo Credit: Brewers Association

As popularity with microbrews has grown, so has the national interest and Colorado has quickly become known for its craft beer. Magazines, blogs, and online beer fanatics have been writing about Colorado’s microbreweries for years – and we’ve only gotten more popular.

On Thrillist: They have Colorado ranked as 3rd in the USA on their list for ranking states according to beer. “Everywhere you look in Colorado — literally everywhere — there is beer. There is no escaping the beer. This is a good thing. Everyone with a beard brews beer, and everyone has a beard, which, by the law of syllogism or something, means literally everyone brews beer. And, damn, do they do it well…Beer is everywhere. Everywhere is beer.”

Washington Post Beer Country

Photo Credit: Washington Post

On USA Today and Paste Magazine, three (yes, three) cities in Colorado were featured on their lists of top craft breweries to try: Boulder, Fort Collins, and Lyons. All cities featured the microbrews they are most famous for: Odell Brewing Co., Avery Brewing Co., and Oskar Blues.

At the Best of Craft Beer Awards, River North Brewery of Denver, Colorado took Brewery of the Year award for 2015. On, four more Colorado breweries were featured on their Summer Seasonal 2015 list: Ska Brewing in Durango, Denver Beer Company in Denver, Fiction Beer Company in Denver, and Kannah Creek Brewing Company in Grand Junction.

The lists go on and on and we don’t think they’ll show any signs of stopping. Craft beer is on the rise and microbrews are only getting more popular. The economic impact of craft breweries has pushed us into the $1 billion margin for the year of 2014.

NPR Craft Beer Growth

Photo Credit: NPR

But, as a 2016 ballot initiative (as yet still unnamed) gains momentum, mom-and-pop liquor stores in Colorado are being threatened. Prohibition-era liquor laws have actually helped microbreweries gain a strong foothold in our lovely Rocky Mountain state and as 2016 draws nearer, the pressure mounts to spread the word about keeping Colorado local. Keeping Colorado local and allowing for microbrews to be featured in smaller liquor retail stores, like all of us folks at Wagon Wheel Liquors in Durango, Colorado, will help keep the craft beer from disappearing from our shelves.

To get on board with Keeping Colorado Local, you can sign their petition here.

The video below gives a very colorful history of the past 100-year of American brewing. Watch more about the American Beer Revival from below:

The American Beer Revival from visually on Vimeo.


Via, via, via, via, via, via, via, via, via, via, via, via

Our Local Wines, Beer & Liquor – Part 2

Did you catch our featured wine for the summer season? View it here!

Welcome to Part 2 of our Local Wine, Beer and Liquor Series! This blog post is about all of the delicious local wines we feature from the Grand Junction area. Though the region itself is known for agriculture on a grand scale, these local Colorado wineries are taking it to the next level and producing unique and flavorful wines. We are so excited to be featuring these local Colorado wines in our store for the Summer season so stop by to see what wines we’d recommend for you!

Colterris Vineyards – Located in Palisade this winery’s meso-climate has the volcanic soils of the Grand Mesa and the Colorado River which contribute to the rich color, intense fruit flavors and character that make Colterris wines unique. You can read more about their wines and location here. At Wagon Wheel Liquors we are currently carrying their Cabernet Sauvignon.

Beautiful Cabernet Sauvignon grapes growing at Colterris Vineyards in Colorado.
Beautiful Cabernet Sauvignon grapes growing at Colterris Vineyards in Colorado.

Cottonwood Cellars/Olathe Vineyards – This is one of Colorado’s oldest premium wineries. They have been family owned since 1994 and have been producing wine from their vineyard since 1995. They produce between 3,000 to 4,000 cases of wine from seven different varietals of grape releasing their wines at the optimal time for flavor and age. You can learn more about this local Colorado wine here. At Wagon Wheel Liquors, we are currently stocking their Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon, Riesling and Pinot Gris.

Garret Estate Cellars – This vineyard, located in Olathe, is in an area that is known for its sweet corn. This winery is changing that with the many varietals of grapes they grow. They are a passionate group of winemakers and love working with other vineyards to produce wine that they are proud of. Read more about them on their blog or visit their website here where you can contact them for a tasting. We are currently carrying their Pinot Gris and Riesling wines at Wagon Wheel Liquors.

Two Rivers – Situated near the Colorado National Monument is the 15-acre family owned winery. They produce just six varieties of grape in order to achieve the consistency and predictability that they look for when producing their wines. They also offer a gorgeous venue for events in their Chateau as well as wine tasting and live music. You can find out more about their wines here as well as watch some of their videos on their YouTube channel. This season at Wagon Wheel, we are carrying their Port, Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah and Merlot.

Carlson Vineyards – This unique winery located in Palisade, Colorado opened up their first tasting room in 1988 in a vintage 1930’s era fruit packing shed. Tradition and originality runs deep with this vineyard as is evident in the way they welcome visitors. Picnic in their backyard while you sip their many varieties of wine and take a private tour of their winery with the owner, Parker Carlson. You can read more about their winery here. The wines from Carlson Vineyards that we are carrying right now are their Laughing Cat Sweet Baby Red, Peach, and Cherry wine.

Carlson Vineyards of Palisade, Colorado featured at Wagon Wheel Liquors
Carlson Vineyards of Palisade, Colorado featured at Wagon Wheel Liquors

At Wagon Wheel Liquors, we embrace all things local – from our employees to our products. Knowing what we carry is a source of pride for us, so please ask us if you have questions as our staff wants to make sure that you get the wine (or beer! or liquor!) that you want. Stay tuned for our next post on all of the local brews from Colorado that we carry!

*Come join us on Wednesdays when we have our wine tastings from 4-6pm – where featured weekly wines are 15% off! Follow us on Facebook to find out which wines we are featuring this week and stop in to check out all of the other wines we have in stock, too!

Because local wines vary so much in their production, our supply varies seasonally.


Via, via, via, via, via, via, via.

Our Local Beer, Wine & Spirits – Part 1

Our Featured Seasonal WineSutcliffe Rosé: “Our Rosé is created from 100%
 Merlot grapes in
 McElmo Canyon, Colorado. 
 Fermenting very slowly in stainless steel, creates a wine [with] much diversity…layers ripe in strawberries and melon.” – Joe Buckel, Sutcliffe Vineyards.

Sutcliffe Rosé


One thing we love about working at Wagon Wheel Liquors in Durango, Colorado is the ability to keep our stock as local as possible. We want to share with you the many vineyards we love carrying that are created locally from the spirits to the brews and the wine. So join us for our blog series on all of the local Colorado companies we feature throughout our store. We will be discussing all of the local wines, beer and liquor we carry year-round as well as what we keep in stock currently.

Our Local Wines, Part One:
The Four Corners and Southern Colorado Plateau regions boast varied ecosystems unlike the rest of the continental United States. With over four different types of ecosystems in roughly 4,780 square miles, you can see why this area is so unique. One of the better reasons why this area is so unique, we think, is for all of the extremely differentiated wines that come from this area. Did you know that before prohibition, Colorado used to be known for its wines? Founding Governor of Grand Junction, George A. Crawford is credited with planting sixty acres of grapes and other fruit near Palisade. However, it wasn’t until the 1960’s when wine was resurrected again. In 1990, the Colorado General Assembly created the Colorado Wine Industry Development Board and as of 2010, there are now over 115 commercial wineries in Colorado alone! Read below to find out more about the four wineries we carry from the Four Corners region.

Sutcliffe Vineyards – This lovely Colorado wine has its vineyards situated on 22-acres in McElmo Canyon. Having been in business since 1995, they are known for working with local Southwest Colorado restaurants pairing wine specifically with local foods. You can read more about them here and here. At Wagon Wheel Liquors, we currently stock their Rosé (our featured wine above – just ask Shana why she loves it so much!), White Blend, Viognier, Petit Verdot, Chardonnay, Cinsaut, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet France, and Merlot.

Fox Fire Farms – Located in Ignacio, Colorado, this vineyard boasts an organic farm on 1100 acres and one of the highest wineries in Colorado at 6500 feet in elevation. They regularly schedule Friday Nights, at Fox Fire Farms that happens May 29th – September 25th from 6-9pm. You can read more about this winery here. We currently carry their Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon.

Fox Fire Farms Ignacio Colorado featured local wine at Wagon Wheel Liquors in Durango Colorado
Fox Fire Farms in Ignacio, Colorado

Guy Drew Vineyards – The second winery situated in McElmo Canyon, their business practice focuses on preserving the riparian wildlife that surrounds their vineyards and ensures that the history of the canyon is evident in the creation of their wines. You can read more about Guy Drew Vineyards here. We currently stock their Sweet Merlot, Metate, and Pinot Gris.

Wines of the San Juans – Located in Northern New Mexico, close to the Colorado border, this family-run winery is rooted in cowboy culture. Their background in cultivating the land led them to planting vineyards in rabbit brush – establishing a wide array of unique and differentiated wines. You can read more about their San Juan River-front vineyard here. We currently carry these wines: Girls Are Meaner, Blanco Rojo, Blue Winged Dove, and Cabernet Sauvignon.

Sharing our knowledge on all of the local liquor is just one of the many reasons we love our jobs. Stay tuned for next time when we introduce the wineries we carry that are from Grand Junction!

*Come join us on Wednesdays when we have our wine tastings from 4-6pm – where featured weekly wines are 15% off! Follow us on Facebook to find out which wines we are featuring this week and stop in to check out all of the other wines we have in stock, too!

Because local wines vary so much in their production, our supply varies seasonally.

Source(s): via, via, via, via, via, via, via