WHAT’S IN YOUR BOTTLE? Why Denver’s Rising Sun Distillery is certified organic WRITTEN AND PHOTOGRAPHED BY CARRIE DOW
ising Sun Distillery in Denver, Colorado, is one of only a handful of USDA-certified organic distilleries in the country. Receiving certification is a lengthy process requiring mounds of paperwork, inspections, and meticulous attention to detail. It ain’t easy. So why go through all this to receive a seal that most people think is only for marketing purposes? Named after its husband and wife owners Dawn (Rising) and Sol (Sun) Richardson, Rising Sun believes organic is worth the effort. “I buy organic produce for my household,” said Dawn Richardson. “I don’t want GMO (genetically modified organism) corn and most corn out there is GMO. I don’t want it sprayed with a bunch of Roundup.” When they started the distillery in 2014, the Richardsons simply wanted to make delicious spirits using the best ingredients. “My name is on every bottle,” stated Richardson, “and I want to be proud of what goes in that bottle.” She also wanted to use the most local ingredients possible. However, they never intended to become a certified organic company. “We started with organic corn. I never even looked for anything else,” she said matter-of-factly. “After we had been open, not for very long, my husband said, ‘Why don’t we go for certification?’ which is a much bigger undertaking then I realized. From there we found organic yeast and all these other things.” The company makes bourbon, Silk Road Gin, rye whiskey, vodka, Colorado Chile Liqueur, Lavender Hibiscus Liqueur, and Coffee Liqueur. All products are certified organic except one, their Colorado Peach Brandy. That is because Colorado pride trumped organics. Wanting to do everything as local as possible, Rising Sun uses Palisade peaches from Colorado’s Cox Family Farm. She said the farm uses organic practices but hasn’t been certified yet. “We thought it was more important to highlight these local peaches than it was to have another organic product,” Richardson adds. “We had the relationship with them before we went certified so we just kept them.” WWW.ARTISANSPIRITMAG.COM
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