Distillery 291 and Urban Steam collaborate on new bourbon

Urban Steam Coffee, Distillery 291, Colorado Springs, cocktail, bourbon, whiskey, Rocky Mountain Food Report, Colorado Springs food, news

Two days ago, Urban Steam Coffee Bar and Cafe owner Kelly Bubach revealed an exciting collaboration with Michael Myers’ Distillery 291. (Well, exciting if you love craft alcohol.) It’s called Colorado Urban Bourbon Whiskey and it’s freaking delicious, as the Report found out when interviewing Bubach a few hours after delivery.

“We’re friends, we’re acquaintances, we’re co-business owners in the same part of town trying to do something different here in the Springs,” says Bubach of Myers. The pair started talking collaboration about a year ago. Myers had previously created booze for Shuga’s and the Black Bear in Green Mountain Falls.

Myers says Urban Bourbon is a 100-proof mix of high-rye bourbon and his traditional bourbon aged for about six months, resulting in a sweet, caramel smoothness punctuated with notes of cherry.

“The collaboration with Urban Steam is exciting,” says Myers in a phone interview. “Kelly and I started around the same time, so it’s been really nice to have that friendship and business relationship. And to make him a bourbon, it was a nice project. So, hopefully we’ll move down that road and have more collaborations with him.”

Kelly says Urban Steam, which already boats a strong whiskey selection, will sell the bourbon neat, on the rocks and in a cocktail still under development — a Manhattan maybe, or a sugarless Old Fashioned, since it’s fairly sweet as-is. The first batch yielded 35 bottles and Kelly says he already wants to start work on a second.

It just tasted right — it was just perfect,” says Kelly, comparing Urban Bourbon to Basil Hayden’s or Booker’s. “It had the right amount of oak, the right amount of sweetness.” 

Look for a release party sometime in early February.

In the meantime, Myers says Distillery 291 is rocking and rolling, growing from 60 barrels in 2014 to 240 barrels in 2015, with a projection to produce 750 barrels in 2016. He says his Denver accounts have grown from seven to around 40 now, with more added every day.

As a result, a locally made 300-gallon still will be installed in about two weeks, with his current 45-gallon still — a custom creation featuring copper photo plates from his previous career as a photographer — acting as the thump keg.

It’s all good news for Bubach.

“I feel fortunate that we were able to do this with him,” he says of Myers. “It’s local, he’s right down the street, he’s a friend, it’s win-win as far as I’m concerned. His staff comes in here, we go there and hang out. We’re kind of in the same business, just craft whatever. We pay attention to good things.

“It takes a lot to excite me — this excites me.”

Urban Steam Coffee, Distillery 291, Colorado Springs, cocktail, bourbon, whiskey, Rocky Mountain Food Report, Colorado Springs food, news

[Images: Bryce Crawford]