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Aspen Vodka


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Operating one of the most technologically advanced distilleries in balance with the environment


The Aspen Distillers™ 18,000 square foot facility is fully electrified. Forget carbon neutral, the facility will be the largest carbon negative distillery when it opens and is designed to generate more renewable energy than it consumes. Onsite lithium ion phosphate batteries for energy storage even keeps us powered during area outages. Distilleries have long been difficult operations to electrify due to their large heat loads. The three large heat requirements include: cooking the grain into mash; generating steam to capture the ethanol in the continuous column still; and drying the spent grain for alternative uses. Typically these intensive energy requirements were only met by fossil fuel boilers. The distillery uses a custom electric boiler from Precision Boilers. The electric boiler has the operational benefit of being able to get to the desired heat level almost immediately. This gives our operators optimal control of the distillation process at all times. The boiler is almost 100% efficient with zero emissions.


Our water is fed from the snow melt at Independence Pass. The water was first tapped by the property in 1885. Our current well on the property was drilled in 1966. The water that rises from this well has the ideal minerality for the production of spirits. We were inspired by the purity of the high mountain snowpack, and the journey this water takes down the mountains and into the natural aquifer below the property. This led us to pursue the highest regenerative design efforts to create net positive water for our environment. As one novel step in the industry, we utilize the Aquacycl BioElectrical Treatment Technology. The Aspen Distillers™ energy neutral onsite wastewater treatment generates zero carbon emissions and promotes improved water quality and quantity to the Colorado River Basin. The process provides the option for nutrient-rich, irrigation quality water available for agriculture. Final treatment by a membrane bioreactor assures safe discharge quality water into the Roaring Fork River.


The campus’s eight acres features on-site regenerative agriculture. Aspen Distillers provides local sourcing for our culinary partners in Aspen and guests at the facility. The balance of the property was carefully restored to mimic its previous habitat prior to disturbance. Prior to commencement of construction Aspen Distillers placed an equivalent habitat into a perpetual land trust.


The distillery is located along a high bank adjacent to the Roaring Fork River. The campus directly relates to the bridge at the distillery that spans the river and Highway 82. The buildings are simply organized along the true east/west axis of the site. The path of the rising and setting sun each day has driven the organization of the buildings, optimizing solar exposure and providing meaningful places and spaces within and along and adjacent to the campus structures facilitating exposure to fresh air and sunlight.


The project promotes a materials economy that is non-toxic, ecologically restorative, transparent and socially equitable. The team vetted thousands of building materials and equipment choices for harmful and commonly found chemicals on the “red list”. The lumber for the buildings was sourced from the US Forest Stewardship Council. The responsibly managed forests provide environmental, social and economic benefits. Our Beetle Kill Pine was harvested from stands of dead timber. If not harvested these trees are left to fall over and decay, resulting in millions of board feet of kindling in our forests ultimately releasing their carbon back into the atmosphere.

The Aspen Distillers™ campus identity is defined by place and outdoor spaces. The main courtyard is defined on the east by a tiered seating landscape and a vertical finial, marking the public face of the distillery. To the west, the space is physically terminated by a dining pergola and fire pit, however the views of the mountains which define the valley extend on into the landscape. Here we find the inspiration to create the world’s next great spirits!