Twelve years ago, Bryan Nolt was a radiologist in Pueblo, Colorado, working hundred-hour weeks. How did he survive that grueling routine? “Nerding out on scotch,” he says of the whiskey-tasting club he formed with other doctors.
Another welcome diversion: his second home in Breckenridge. It’s where, while fishing at Mohawk Lakes, “I was standing in the water, and the light went on,” Nolt recalls of the inspiration that led him to launch a mountain town distillery at a time when producing craft spirits wasn’t yet trendy.
While studying up on whiskey making, Nolt met California winemaker Jordan Via. Together they designed a still and opened Breckenridge Distillery on Airport Road. Ten years later, what began as a hobby is now a thriving business with 100 employees and 20+ products, including a rye-forward whiskey, bourbon, spiced rum, infused vodka, and bitters—all made with Colorado-grown grains. In addition to a tasting room in downtown Breck, the distillery on Airport Road houses a 70-seat restaurant and, in a nod to Nolt’s life-changing pastime in Pueblo, a private lounge for the new Dark Arts Society whiskey club.
1925 Airport Rd