(September 8, 2020) Colorado Springs, CO – Distillery 291 was chosen out nearly 1,000 nominees as a 2020 Colorado Company To Watch (CCTW) winner. The statewide awards program, now in its 11th year, honors companies from all industries that help grow Colorado’s economy but only selects 50 as finalists. CCTW recognizes organizations often overlooked for the critical impact each company has in their respective industries and communities as well as the state as a whole.
“Receiving this award just ahead of our company’s ninth anniversary was the perfect gift,” said CEO and Founding Distiller Michael Myers. “What started as a dream of one man making Colorado whiskey has turned into a business that impacts distributors, retailers, and the local job market.”
Founded in 2009, CCTW recognizes the contribution growing small businesses make in Colorado’s local economy through job creation, revenue generation, innovative products and services, and philanthropic efforts. To be considered, finalists had to be a privately held company headquartered in Colorado, employ 6-99 full-time employees, demonstrate exceptional entrepreneurial leadership, and show a capacity for growth through either employees or sales.
“COVID threw us all for a loop,” Myers said. “But we came together as a company and figured out how to make the best of a tough situation. We were able to not just survive but flourish-growing distribution into 4 new states, utilizing social media to create a virtual tasting room, hosting an online conference to support spirits sellers in our “new normal” and hiring employees in Colorado, California, Texas, and Florida. All of these efforts helped us keep our sales strong and the brand moving forward.”
Prior to founding Distillery 291, Myers worked as a fashion and beauty photographer in New York City. After the events of 9/11, Myers moved to Colorado to launch a new career in whiskey. A self-taught distiller, he handbuilt the distillery’s first still from copper photography plates and named the distillery after one of his favorite photographer’s galleries – Alfred Stieglitz’s 291. He pulled his first batch of whiskey from the still on September 11, 2011 – ten years after leaving New York and beginning his new life in Colorado.
Today, Distillery 291’s whiskeys are one of the most awarded Colorado spirits having gained recognition from World Whiskies Awards, San Francisco Spirits Competition, New York International Spirits Competition, Jim Murray’s Whisky Bible, and more.
About Distillery 291
Distillery 291 is a small batch whiskey distillery nestled in the stunning foothills of the Rocky Mountains. Located in Colorado Springs, the distillery sits in the shadow of Pikes Peak where owner and distiller, Michael Myers, aims to replicate the taste, smell and folklore of the Wild West. Today, Distillery 291 is distilling, from grain to barrel, to bottle, ten distinctive Colorado whiskeys. The young distillery has earned bushels of national and international awards for its spirits with the unique character and flavor of a bygone era, including the title of World’s Best Rye at the 2018 World Whiskies Awards. Distillery 291 embodies traditions of the past married with the boldness of the future: Rugged, Refined and Rebellious. Handmade the Colorado way. For more information visit: www.distillery291.com.
About Colorado Companies To Watch
Colorado Companies to Watch is an awards program that honors second-stage companies headquartered in Colorado. The awards program has honored 550 companies since the program’s inception. Award-winning companies demonstrate high performance in the marketplace and/or innovative products or processes. The award program seeks businesses from a wide range of industries throughout the state, not just the major metropolitan areas. The 50 companies selected each year make an astounding impact on Colorado’s economy by collectively providing thousands of jobs and contributing millions of dollars in revenue. The Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade (OEDIT) launched the program in 2009 in conjunction with the Edward Lowe Foundation and valuable community partners from across Colorado.