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Distilling with Locally Grown Ingredients

Making headlines around the nation, Leopold Bros. started as a restaurant in Ann Arbor, Michigan in 1999 by brothers Todd and Scott Leopold. After almost a decade, the Leopolds decided to move the business to Colorado in 2008 due to strict liquor distribution laws. Now flourishing in Denver, Leopold Bros. distills out of their newly constructed 24,000 square foot facility and distributes around the U.S. and worldwide.

Todd and Scott’s skills blend together like a recipe for success. Holding a Diploma in Brewing and Malting Science, Todd worked as an apprentice in Germany and Austria making him one of the few recognized Master Distillers in North America.

Scott received a Bachelor’s in Economics and Industrial Engineering and a Master’s in Environmental Engineering. He spent the early part of his career as an engineer on environmentally sustainable manufacturing practices for Fortune 500 companies, and designed wastewater systems for both private and public sectors.

While Todd works on perfecting the art of distilling (with products ranging from whiskey, vodka, and gin, to liquors, absinthe, and amaro) Scott manages the business side and ensures environmentally conscious distilling practices. He’s even invented a highly efficient system that cuts down on water waste, never before seen to the industry, and engineered copper stills that utilize techniques extinct since before the Prohibition era.

Hands down, Leopold Bros. is emerging as one of the most inventive and well-practiced family-owned distilleries in the nation. Using locally sourced grains from around the state, they are also one of the only distillers in the world that malts their own barley in-house.

With help from Matt Cornwell of FirstBank and Colorado Lending Source, Leopold Bros. secured financing with a Small Business Administration 504 loan. This helped them purchase land to build an incredible production facility along with a tasting room for guests to try their homegrown spirits.

Words of Wisdom from the Brothers:
In the course of building a sustainable enterprise, remember to enjoy the struggle, give generously to your community, maintain the culture of a startup, and put the needs of your customers, suppliers, and employees before yours.