Black Bear Distillery is opening up this summer in Green Mountain Falls, Colorado. Green Mountain Falls was once a thriving center of tourism, but over the past several years, the town has had a run of bad luck. Fire destroyed the town hall in 2012, taking many historical documents with it, according to the Gazette. Two years later, more destruction hit the town in the form of floods. Victor Matthews, owner of the Black Bear Distillery, thinks that his whiskey can help put the town back on the map.
“It’s a new kind of a golden age for Green Mountain Falls as far as I’m concerned.”
Matthews shut down the Black Bear Restaurant two years ago. He has been distilling all his life, so he decided to take the old Black Bear building and turn it into a distillery. However, this is not your ordinary micro-distillery.
“Same kind of thing that a lot of craft distilleries around America do, which would have been awesome, but then this real kind of crazy idea started to develop.”
Matthews spoke with KOAA 5 News about the crazy plan he has for the Black Bear Distillery. He plans to malt his own barley. He will use the huge fireplaces in the former restaurant to dry it. Then, he will use old millstones to grind it. It is a pure throwback to the days of the wild west.
“These puppies are no joke, these are at least a few hundred years old.”
So, how does Matthews plan on powering the millstones to create Black Bear Whiskey? He will use donkeys. Not far from Green Mountain Falls is a donkey rescue center. Matthews’ wife came up with the idea. For you animal lovers, donkeys will not be used full time. He also plans on using solar and wind power.
“I’m trying to get away from the fossil fuels and the carbon footprint and all that stuff, trying to get as old school and artisan as we can.”
Fellow business owners are excited about the donkey-powered Black Bear Distillery. They feel that it can do nothing but help a town that more than triples in population during the summer months in good years.
Matthew plans to open the Black Bear Distillery to limited engagement tours on the upcoming Fourth of July weekend. He has to get a special permit from city officials because currently donkey are not allowed in town, but he doesn’t foresee that being a holdup.
How do you like your whiskey? Black Bear Distillery is hoping most like it donkey-powered.
[Photos by Black Bear Distillery]