Food & Drink

Sample range of distilled spirits at unique festival

StillsintheHillsBy Jennifer Pund
Stills in the Hills, a unique craft spirit tasting festival, pours onto Main Street of Central City for its third year, June 27 from 1-6 p.m. Featuring over 20 distilleries pouring samples of different styles of spirits, the festival brings visitors and locals to the historic town for a unique experience.

During the festival, Central City’s Main Street will be transformed into a pedestrian-friendly area with distillery tents and food vendors flanking both sides of the street. The event is a great way to sample many different spirits in one place while meeting and speaking with representatives from each distillery. “Like brewers, [distilleries] are in a small industry. It’s a ‘all-hands-on-deck’ style of business,” Central City Business improvement District Executive Director Joe Behm said. “For them to gather up a team to come to an event like this is a big deal.”

Behm’s goal when conceiving Stills in the Hills was to create something “different and interesting.” With a growing trend of craft spirits, he says distilleries are becoming like craft breweries in a town. “Distilled spirits are just starting to take off,” he said. “And these [types of festivals] are pretty unique and haven’t been done everywhere like beer festivals are now. We are sort of the cutting edge for this type of event, and we are just figuring out how to do it and how to get all the distilleries in one place. This is what we wanted, a unique festival.”

Behm said it’s hard for mountain residents to believe that people have never been to Central City or Black Hawk. When asked, however, visitors admit it’s their first visit. “We were looking for a way to attract a different crowd than we usually see for the regular visitor coming to the mountain gaming towns,” he said. “Millennials are into craft spirits and we see folks that just love one spirit and want to sample just that style. We also know they are coming up because the event is something different, too.”

Live music will be provided by The Lookout Mountain Boys from Golden playing rockabilly and rock featuring tunes from The Animals, Johnny Cash, Rolling Stones, vintage surf and more. Parkside will also take the stage to perform rock with a violin twist. The band plays a variety of tunes from classic rock to today’s hits.

Advance general admission and VIP tickets are available online at or at Denver area King Sooper’s stores.

Visit or call 303-918-1103 for additional details.

Originally published in the June 2015 issue of the MMAC Monthly

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